• Title: Self-Portrait with Easel
  • Creator: Amrita Sher-gil
  • Date Created: c. 1930
  • Contributor: image courtesy: the Estate of Amrita Sher-Gil
  • Original Source: Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Description of Works: Most evident in this portrat is artist’s capes or smocks and her hair cut short or tied back along with blending of gender identity in calm subtlty.
  • Creator's Life: 1913/1941
  • About the Artist: Under the umbrella of early Indian Modern art, Amrita Sher-gil stands apart as holding her own and also perhaps among very few women artists of that era. Born in 1913, and home schooled in art by her Hungarian-Jewish mother and Punjabi Sikh father, Amrita explored drawings and painting from a very early age. Coupled with abundance in resources both material and intellectual, Amrita as a teen was able to develop a keen eye and attitude for her own individual style: the self-portrait. She lent a certain performative edge to her own personality being fully aware of her feminine charm and enigma, which easily got translated on the canvass from the vantage point of her own gaze. One finds impressions of European masters in her style but her infallible portraiture as an Indian woman, embracing the mask of womanliness made all the difference. Ironically then and rightly so, parallels are drawn between Amrita Sher-gil and the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo(1907-1954). One can find traces of commonalities not just in self-portraiture but also self-attuned and fearless womanhood. By 1930’s, she had developed a significant body of work which left an indelible mark on the Indian modern art scene which comprised predominantly of male artists.

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