Born: 30 January 1913 Budapest, Kingdom of Hungary Died: 5 December 1941 (aged 28) Lahore, British India (today Pakistan) Nationality: Hungarian / Indian Education: Grande Chaumiere École des Beaux-Arts (1930–34) Known for: Painting
Amrita Sher-Gil (Punjabi: ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਾ ਸ਼ੇਰਗਿੱਲ; 30 January 1913 – 5 December 1941) was an eminent Hungarian-Indian painter. She has been called "One of the greatest avant-garde women artists of the early 20th century" and a "pioneer" in modern Indian art. Drawn to painting at a young age, Sher-Gil started getting formal lessons in the art, at the age of eight. Sher-Gil first gained recognition at the age of 19, for her oil painting entitled Young Girls (1932). Sher-Gil traveled throughout her life to countries including Turkey, France, and India, deriving heavily from their art styles and cultures. Sher-Gil is considered an important woman painter of 20th-century India, whose legacy stands on a level with that of the pioneers of Bengal Renaissance. She was also an avid reader and a pianist. Sher-Gil's paintings are among the most expensive by Indian women painters today, although few acknowledged her work when she was alive.
The self in making AMRITA SHER-GIL: 'The self in making' examines Amrita Sher-Gil’s self-portraits that were grounded in her self-consciousness of growing up to be an artist and also positioning herself as a modern woman. Her nuanced persona could easily slip from a western outfit into a traditional brocaded sari or masquerade the bohemian and get into roles other than the domestic. She drew a series of self-portraits in pencil when she was barely 14, learning the skills to transcribe, transform and transmit varied moods and moments through it.
In art historian Rakhee Balaram’s words, “The self-portraits display the artist moving from girl to woman to artist as she explored a sensuality that ranges from the heavy-handed to the subtle. Sher-Gil casts herself in a serious light in her Self-Portrait with Easel (1930), moving deliberately from the domestic and the intimate context of the nineteenth-century woman artist to the monumental and majestic poses recalling those of Rembrandt and later Van Gogh.”