5 December is the anniversary of our painter Amrita Sher-gil who left this planet in 1941
Born from a Punjabi father & Hungarian mother the precocious Amrita aspired to take up art . Her upbringing in two cultures and thus striking a balance between the two were both a challenge as well as a predicament .
Studied art in Paris and that too at a time when the roots of modern art were gaining its strength from strength with Vincent Van Gogh , Paul Cezanne , Paul Gauguin , Henri Matisse , Pablo Picasso , Goerges Braque were house hold names .
Amrita’s exposure to the revolutionary changes in the vision of art that announced a new autonomy for the artists practising in the different corners of the world , was in quite contrast to the training that she was undergoing there .
Her teacher , observing her thirst for colour , advised her to go to India after completing her studies and paint there . He was of the confirmed view that it is only in India that her hunger for colour can be fulfilled to its fullest .
Landed in India and there she found her self and felt deeply rooted and soulfully happy . As a young lady burning with passion and eager to express the world to which she truly belongs to , with all the clarity of her vision and thought .
This fair and fabulous woman stormed the world of art amidst the freedom struggle in British India by her painting contrary to the one the then prevailed here . She was a rebel of her own kind and determined to live the way she liked to and paint the way it happened for her .
By the time she left this planet at the age of 28 Amrita stood tall among the Indian artists by what she did to paint India of her dreams in her short but gifted span of life .
Today she is truly acknowledged as the pioneer of modern art in India and her work has been declared as national treasure alongwith Abanindranath Tagore , Gaganendranath Tagore , Jamini Roy , Nandlal Bose , Nicholas Roerich , Rabindranath Tagore , Raja Ravi Varma & Sailoz Mookherjea under the Antiquities & Art Treasures Act 1972 by the Government of India .
Let her soul continues to shine on art always and forever .
Prem Singh

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