Top 10 Most Amazing Paintings In India
Indian painting styles are not just a reflection of the indigenous lifestyle but a perfect example of Indian tradition, artistic expression and Indian history. Indian paintings are classified as murals, miniatures and paintings on cloth. Murals are large works executed on walls and miniatures paintings are very small works executed on books or albums on paper or cloth. Traditionally, most of the Indian painting styles existed as wall paintings or murals.
There are few special masterpieces that represent the tradition, customs and ideologies of indian art.
Watch out for these 10 paintings that are making their mark in the art marketplace.
1. Bharat Mata by Abanindranath Tagore
“Bharat Mata” , one of the most famous and iconic paintings painted by Abanindranath Tagore, the founder of Bengal School of Art, in 1905. This painting depicts a saffron clad woman, dressed like a sadhvi, holding a book(Vedas), sheaves of paddy, a piece of white cloth and a garland in her four hands.
The work was painted during the Swadeshi movement .Indian nationalists participating in the swadeshi movement resisted the British by boycotting British goods and institutions, holding meetings and processions, forming committees, and applying diplomatic pressure. The painting’s central figure holds multiple items associated with Indian culture and the economy of India such as a book(Vedas), sheaves of paddy, a piece of white cloth and a garland. It has four hands, evocative of Hindu imagery, which equates multiple hands with immense power.
In one hand she holds the book(Vedas) that depict the strong education system and literature of the country, in the second she holds the sheaves of paddy emphasizing on the rich food of the land, in third, she holds the Rudraksha mala(garland) which are referred to as beads of salvation and in the fourth hand she holds a piece of white cloth wherein the cloth refers to clothes to wear and white refers to peace.
The painting has been characterized as an attempt of humanisation of ‘Bharat Mata’ where the mother is seeking liberation through her sons. In fact, This image became the face of new Swadeshi India, free India.
Price : ₹ 3,500.00
Date : 1905
2. Self-portrait by Amrita Sher-Gil
This is a 1931 self-portrait by Amrita Sher-Gil, depicting one of India’s most important modern artists at the age of 18,recognised today as a pioneer of Indian modernism. Her place in the trajectory of Indian modern art is unquestionably pre eminent. Her command over handling of oil medium and use of color, as well as her vigorous brushwork and strong feeling for composition, all go towards giving a dazzling quality to her genius.
This is the first painting by the artist ever to be offered in London, and one of only eight canvases by Sher-Gil to be offered at auction globally. This self-portrait will be offered in the annual South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art Sale at Christie’s King Street on 10th of June with a pre-sale estimate of £1.0-1.8 million. This self-portrait from 1931 is one of Sher-Gil’s undiscovered paintings, never before seen or exhibited publicly. It has remained in France from the time it was painted, and is making its maiden voyage across the Atlantic this summer, first to New York, where it will be on view at Christie’s, and then to London for its sale preview and auction.
Price: £1.0-1.8 million
Date : 1931
3. Three Pujarins by Jamini Roy
“Three Pujarins” , three almond-eyed priestesses painted by Jamini Roy, the eminent bengali artist. Three Pujarins is a depiction of three almond eye priestesses in a worshipping avatar, mature and very much holding their poise even when the piece is not without any symbolic leanings. Jamini Roy was one of the earliest and most significant modernists of Indian art. Trained in the British academic style of painting Jamini Roy became well-known as a skilful portraitist. His images were executed in sweeping, calligraphic lines showing the artist’s strong control over the brush. Color was leached out of the paintings resulting in a series of monochromatic pictures that hinted at inspiration from East Asian painting styles, Kalighat pats. The imagery was drawn from everyday life-mother and child figures, women, bauls and so on.
Price : ₹4000
Date: 1887 – 1972
4. Horses by M F Hussain
Maqbool Fida Husain, one of India’s most prolific painters, enjoyed depicting the lively and free spirit of horses in his art. This painting captures the power and energy of three horses through bold outlines and dynamic velocity. This is considered to be one of his best works. When placed on auction at Christie’s in 2008, it fetched over INR 1 crore, which was unprecedented.
Few painters have been loved and hated in modern times as M F Hussain. His paintings have always evoked response, they never go unnoticed.
Forbes magazine called him the “Picasso of India”..
Price : 1 crore (in auction at Christie’s in 2008)
5. Shakuntala by Raja Ravi Verma
“Shakuntala”- Looks of Love, is one of his internationally famous paintings. The painting “Looks of Love” depicts a scene from Indian Mythology Mahabharata in which Shakuntala, mother of emperor Bharata, who established the Bharata dynasty, is pretending to remove a thorn from her feet. But she was actually looking for her husband Dushyanta, while her friends lead.
Shakuntala is a masterpiece in the way Verma exudes the very essence of the universal feeling of love.
Price : ₹ 902.00
Date : 1870
6. Bindu by S H Raza
A legendary modern artist who popularized Indian iconography globally, Syed Haider Raza never tired of the bindu or the Shunya that became the focal point of energy in his work.by the ’70s, he had found the motif that would make him a legend: The Bindu. Raza once stated that “Bindu is a source of energy, source of life. Life begins here, attains infinity here.”
Whether it was his belief in the power of what looks like only a mere dot or the bindu indeed being the source of all inceptions, it is only apropos that Raza’s bindu became one of the most famous paintings of India apart from being also his most recognisable presence.
Price : not mentioned
Date : 1980
7. Glow of Hope by S L Haldankar
Glow of Hope, alternately titled “Woman With the Lamp“, is a painting by S.L. Haldankar. Seventy years ago, a young, demure girl stood still for three hours with a lamp in her hand. She was posing for a work of art being created by her father S L Haldankar. This watercolor masterpiece, popularly known as Lady with the Lamp or Glow of Hope has been a star attraction in the Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery in Jaganmohan Palace in Mysore for nearly 60 years now. The sensitivity, simplicity, soft and subtle colors used as well as the ethereal depiction of the light reflecting from the fingers, has made this painting a highly-regarded work which is renowned worldwide.
Price: ₹ 2500
Date : 1945-46
8. Krishna (Spring in Kulu) by Nichohal Roerich
Krishna (Spring in Kullu) by famous Russian artist Nicholas Roerich finds a place in the pantheon of Indian art masterpieces because Roerich, after having travelled the world, made Kullu his home and died there. This painting shows Krishna playing the flute under a tree in blossom against a majestic backdrop of snow-covered mountains. In 1979, Roerich was declared by the Archeological Survey of India as one of the nine artists whose works are considered national art treasures.
Price : $85
9. Mahishasura by Tyeb Mehta
The most important work by India’s finest contemporary artist, Tyeb Mehta’s Mahishasura – a reinterpretation of the tale of the demon by the same name – was the first Indian painting to cross the million dollar mark, selling for a whopping $1.584 million at Christie’s in 2005.The painting happened after Tyeb’s visit to Shantiniketan where he was inspired by the legend of Mahishasura. Mehta fuses ancient imagery with simplicity of form, color and line, resulting in a powerfully modern work full of fresh vitality.
Price : $1.584 million
Date : 1996
10. Bapuji by Nandalal Bose
Nandalal Bose painted a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi’s Dandi March. It was the protest where Gandhi was fighting against the British who imposed the tax on salt. And to mark the date of Dandi march and as the support, Nandalal Bose painted a black and white linocut print of Mahatma Gandhi walking during the protest. The portrait became the symbol of the non-violence movement. He is a well-known person in India’s modern art and Contextual Modernism.
Today, most of his paintings are kept in the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi. Young artists of today look up to him and his passion and dedication towards the art. He is an inspiration for the young generation today to believe in themselves and work hard to grow better and better.
Price : USD 35,000
Date : 1930
These are the Top 10 paintings in India. Let us know what you think about them down below.
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