Amrita Sher-Gil



25.0 x 18.5 in. / 63.5 x 47.0 cm.


Charcoal on handmade paper

This charcoal drawing by one of India’s National Treasure artists probably belongs to her late teens when she was taking lessons at École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris. Sher-Gil’s lines are flawlessly executed, without hesitation, commanding the viewer’s interest. The model looks unabashedly at the viewer, her head cradled in her palm as she leans back in her chair. Even though unclothed, it is her face that draws attention, Sher-Gil having detailed her pert mouth, the snub nose and the faintly challenging eye. Though she was no prude when it came to painting nudes—self-portraits included—Sher-Gil’s study here is not a voyeuristic work but one that captures the liquid languidity of a woman’s body.

published references

Sundaram, Vivan, ed., Amrita Sher-Gil, A Self-Portrait in Letters and Writings, Vol. I (New Delhi: Tulika Books, 2010), p. 296
Singh, Kishore, ed., India’s French Connection: Indian Artists in France (New Delhi: DAG, 2018), p. 44
Ways of Seeing: Women Artists | Women as Muse (New Delhi: DAG, 2021), pp. 6, 48

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Art Artist Names Single Amrita Sher-Gil