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Amrita Sher-Gil Biography

Painters | 8-14 yrs | Interactive

Who is Amrita Sher-Gil?

Amrita Sher-Gil (1913 – 1941) was a dynamic artist of mixed Indian and Hungarian origin. Her art fused her European art instruction and Indian background into vignettes of mostly female subjects. Amrita would use servants and poor people as models, which to her was a romantic embodiment of the true spirit of India before independence.

How did she become an artist?

Sher-Gil was born in Budapest, Hungary where she spent most of her childhood and also began taking art lessons along with her sister. Amrita attended art school in Italy for a very short time where she was introduced to the great Italian masters. By age sixteen, after a brief amount of time in India, she was back on a boat to Europe where she studied at the Grande Chaumiere and Ecole de Beax-Artes where her exposure to contemporary painters of the bohemian movement began to seep into her art. However Sher-Gil was enchanted with her Indian roots and returned to the subcontinent with her husband.

Her Work

Her early works saw the use of bold colours and a predominantly Western sense, while later, she moved towards more muted colours, a rustic style and an influence of Indian techniques. She strived to portray the lives of the people living around her, often using servants in her own home as her models.


Amrita died at 28 of unknown causes but her legacy as an established female painter continues till today. She is the only Asian to be elected as an Associate of the prestigious Grand Salon in Paris. Her piece titled Bride’s Toilet recently fetched Rs 6 crores at auction.

Its not very difficult to find poor on the streets of India. Find a subject on the streets which tells you the story about the people of India in a flash and draw away.

For more famous painters around the world, visit: https://mocomi.com/learn/culture/famous-people/painters/