Rare Indian art to go under the hammer

Rare Indian art spanning a period from the eighth century to the twentieth century will be put up for sale at an auction later this month.  Titled ‘Significant Indian Art’, the exhibition sale features some of India’s best known artists including prominent Bengal school artists as well as contemporary Indian artists.
The art works are sourced from private collections with quite a few of the masterpieces coming from the estate of Udaychand Mahtab, the erstwhile Maharaj of Bardhaman, in West Bengal. The value of the 86 works, being put up for auction is estimated to be between Rs 18 and 25 crore.
The sale is organised by Bid & Hammer, a Bengaluru-based auctioneer backed by the Dadha family of Rajasthan, which has business interests in pharmaceuticals. Some of the rare works on offer are those by masters including Rabindranath Tagore, Jamini Roy, Hemendranath Mazumdar and Sailoz Mookerjea, a statement from the auctioneers said.
‘Art dedicated to art’
The auction — to be held next week — will be led by a series of works by M.F. Hussain, the highlight being a large oil on canvas depicting horses against a saffron background. A letter written by the artist to accompany the 1977 painting (which was gifted by Hussain) says “this piece of art is dedicated to the art itself”. Another piece by Hussain that is on offer is one that he gifted to a former Miss India, actress Namrata Shirodkar Babu. Part of the proceeds of this sale will go to Heal A Child Foundation promoted by her husband Telugu movie star Mahesh Babu.
The auction catalogue also includes early works by Bombay Progressive Artists group member Vasudeo Gaitonde (whose work fetched a record price recently), S.H. Raza, Francis Newton Souza, Ram Kumar and Tyeb Mehta. The auction will take place in New Delhi.

By - Indrani Dutta
The Hindu
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