An Ode to the Past that holds the key to the future.

India's own Frida Kahlo .. a painter .. a visionary inspiration ... Amrita Sher-Gil

Amrita Sher-Gil also referred to as India’s very own Frida Kahlo, brought a revolution in the field of painting by blending the western and traditional art forms. She was not only a pioneer in modern art but was also known for challenging the general stereotypes and was fierce to question the societal norms. She was also once expelled from school for openly embracing atheism.

She was born on 30th January 1913 in Hungary, Budapest. Her father was a scholar in Persian and Sanskrit languages, while her mother, was a Hungarian singer. From a very early age, she was fascinated by paintings and developed a keen interest in painting. She started her formal training in painting at the age of 8. Later she learned the art from Italy and later sought training in Paris. But always drawn towards her Indian roots she travelled back to southern India, where she was highly influenced by the life of Indian villagers and produced her South Indian trilogy of paintings known as; Bride's Toilet, Brahmacharis, and South Indian Villagers Going to Market and made a conscious attempt to return to classical Indian art. These paintings revealed her passion and empathy for her Indian subjects, who are often depicted in their poverty and despair.

In 1941, at age 28, she became seriously ill and slipped into coma. And on 5 December 1941, she was declared dead leaving behind a large volume of work. The reason for her death has never been ascertained.

Although she lived a short span of life, but she has inspired many prominent people of art fraternity. As well she had set a great example in the west of the Indian artistry skills. Much ahead of the time she was born, she had always encouraged women to embrace themselves and play an important role in art fraternity.

Amrita Shergil has been acknowledged and known for her work in art but what makes her more inspiring that she stood up for herself and fiercely broke the stereotypes and went ahead to pursue her dreams and passion. she has inspired many in past , And she still encourages us with her legacy,to accept ourselves as we are and follow our heart’s calling even though which means thinking beyond, and not generalising the situations as right or wrong .

-Priyanka R. Sharma

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