Unseen paintings by Raja Ravi Varma to feature in AstaGuru's upcoming 50th auction

AstaGuru's much-awaited Modern Indian art auction is set to take place on the 19th and 20th of December.
A painting by Raja Ravi Varma (detail)
A painting by Raja Ravi Varma (detail)

December 16, Mumbai: AstaGuru's much-awaited Modern Indian art auction is set to take place on the 19th and 20th of December.

Being the House’s 50th auction, it is an ode to the veteran artists that have sculpted modern Indian Art into the magnificent entity it is today.

The auction will be a melange of prominent artworks from Indian Master Artists, some of which will be auctioned for the very first time.

Leading the Auction we have the portrait of HH Janaki Subbamma Bai Sahib Rani of Puddukkottai (princely state in Tamil Nadu) & her Daughter painted by eminent artist Raja Ravi Varma (circa 1886).

The artist has rendered Indian royalties in all their traditional glory in the European Academic Art technique, skilfully merging both Indian and Western sensibilities.

This particular painting has never been a part of an auction and will be showcased for the first time ever on a public platform. 

The prominent artist Akbar Padamsee will be a part of the auction too. His work titled ‘Man in City II’ from the year 1953 carries much significance of an important period for the artist, as it was exhibited during his first-ever, solo show in India in 1954.

By this time, Padamsee had moved to Paris and his disposition towards the surrealist and cubist school of techniques is evidently portrayed in the definitive and structural illustration of the man’s facial features and the cityscape.

This painting has been acquired by the current owner directly from the artist, making it a truly rare find.

SH Raza’a work titled Lumiere d’ete, which means summer light, from 1958 will be seen at the auction.

The work was created during the early years of his tenure in France, and the influence of Cezanne in his construction and the impact of Kandinsky’s theory of form and colour is clearly evident here.

In this particular painting, Raza makes uninhibited use of colours and one can notice Raza moving away from distinct forms in his landscapes towards abstraction despite being closely knit into his developed style. 

<em>A painting by Raja Ravi Varma </em>
A painting by Raja Ravi Varma 

Among other artworks we shall witness prominent female Indian artist Amrita Sher-Gil’s work from 1923; Jaimini Roy’s Santhal Woman circa 1925; Kishen Khanna’s Who is it? and Prabhakar Barwe’s 1981 creation titled Reflection.

In the sculptures segment, the eclectic bronze statue titled 'Dadu' (grandfather) by Meera Mukherjee is unmissable.

The master sculptor who is well-known for her works themed around feminine protagonists, gives us insight into her personal space in this work.

The artist has also inscribed a personal note in Bengali on the verso of the sculpture, that states ‘One winter evening, when dadu was going to the Nolgoda market, the children ran to him, and hid under his shawl.'

The auction will take place online on the AstaGuru website and is set to attract art connoisseurs, collectors, investors and enthusiasts alike. 

<em>A painting by Raja Ravi Varma </em>
A painting by Raja Ravi Varma 

The year 2008 was a turning point in the Indian Art realm as AstaGuru emerged as a safe and secure platform for online auctions of Contemporary & Modern Indian Art.

But the quest did not halt there, AstaGuru has enlisted vintage collectibles and rare antiques such as sculptures, classic miniatures paintings, fine writing instruments, timepieces, celebrity memorabilia and aristocratic jewellery, to name a few, under its proud banner. 

The word AstaGuru is a thoughtful conjugation of the word Asta, of Italian origin, which translates to ‘auction’ and Guru, Sanskrit connotation for ‘master’ that clearly indicates our distinguished finesse at being the leaders of auctioneering art and artefacts in India and globally.

With the advancement of the digital age and the world melting into one big virtual space, AstaGuru has perfected the art of bridging the gap between prospective buyers and consignors. 

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