Tyeb Mehta painting makes record as second most expensive work of modern or contemporary art

Donna B. Jones


All eyes ended up established on a Raja Ravi Varma portray at Saffronart’s spring stay auction on Wednesday night, still some many others emerged as winners and individual bests. A Tyeb Mehta sold for $5,596,000 (Rs 41.97 cr), inclusive of buyer’s high quality (hammer value $4,750,000). This is the maximum advertising work for the artist globally in an auction. Now, it is the 2nd most expensive do the job of contemporary or modern Indian art.

Mehta’s Untitled (Bull on Rickshaw) (1999) is a conference of some of his critical motifs and themes—the falling determine, the trussed bull and the rickshaw. The bull writhes on the rickshaw, conveying a photograph of vulnerability, struggling and bondage. Equally human and animal are yoked to their respective sites in daily life. As Amrita Jhaveri observed in A Guidebook to 101 Modern and Present-day Indian Artists (2005), .”..the bull, with its fiery energy is inescapably doomed to man’s violence. Mehta’s experience at an abattoir in Bombay marked him indelibly in his artwork, it achieves metaphoric importance — an animal in the throes of loss of life gets a symbol for the conflicts of contemporary life.”

MV Dhurandhar’s Untitled (Draupadi Vastraharan) (1934) was the other get the job done that performed very well at the auction, bought at Rs8.04 cr. Born in Kolhapur, Dhurandhar is often believed of as the second most well-liked Indian artist, following Ravi Varma. The portray revisits an crucial scene from the Mahabharata, where by Dushasana tries to disrobe Draupadi, only to be stopped by divine intervention. In the painting, the assault on Draupadi has just begun, as she pleadingly seems to be to the heavens for assistance. Krishna—who will turn her sari into an unlimited piece of cloth till Dushasana tires himself— appears behind Draupadi like a benevolent, blue eyesight.

Untitled (Draupadi Vastraharan) (1934) by MV Dhurandhar. (Courtesy: SaffronArt)

The portray is possibly a homage to Ravi Varma, whose rendition of the same scene from the Mahabharata was just one of the highlights of this auction. Ravi Varma’s Draupadi Vastraharan (circa 1888-90), estimated concerning Rs 15 cr to Rs 20 cr, offered for Rs 21.6 cr. This is the next maximum offering function for the artist. An oleograph of the exact same scene printed at the Ravi Varma Press in Malavali bought for Rs 4.2 lakh.


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