If you’re a fan of how art can capture human feelings and experiences, you should know about this artist.
Amrita Sher-Gil was a Hungarian-Indian painter who was considered a pioneer of modern Indian art for the way she portrayed Indian women in the 1930s.
Born in Budapest in 1913, Amrita was the daughter of esteemed parents. Her mother was a Hungarian opera singer, and her father was an Indian aristocratic scholar. Her family eventually moved from Europe to India when she was a child, and she started taking art lessons when she was 8-years-old.
Her family could see she had talent from a young age. So, when she was 16, she moved to Paris to continue studying and making art at École des Beaux-Arts. In Paris, she learned and gained inspiration from many different artists and eventually won an award for her work.
At 19, she received a gold medal for her painting Young Girls, which depicts her sister Indira. Through this victory, she also became the youngest person elected as an Associate of the esteemed Grand Salon in 1933.
In 1934, Amrita left Paris and moved back to India, even though she was just getting started with a successful career there. She felt that her destiny as a painter lay in India.
So, after a few years, she decided to travel around South India to connect to her roots. As an artist, she began combining the aesthetics of Indian paintings with the techniques she had learned in Europe.
As she traveled, she began painting the realities of Indian life. She passionately painted her human subjects in ways that could portray what they were going through and how they were feeling. Many of her subjects were living in poverty. The way she depicted Indian women was especially impactful, as she was known to capture multiple moods in one painting.
Throughout her travels, she painted the works that became part of her famous South Indian trilogy, comprised of the paintings Brahmacharis, Bride’s Toilet, and South Indian Villagers Going to Market.