A portrait of Guru Nanak and a selection of 19th century miniatures collected by India’s first Governor General Warren Hastings besides paintings by the likes of M F Husain, S H Raza and Manjit Bawa will be the highlights of a Sotheby’s auction in New York this week.
The sale of Indian and South East Asian Art on March 24 features a well-curated selection of Indian, Himalayan and South East Asian works of art.
A strong selection of Indian miniatures as well as modern and contemporary paintings is also included in the 184 lots sale that is estimated to fetch USD 7.3 million.
"We are pleased and proud to present our collecting audience with a rare opportunity to acquire and enjoy these works of historical significance and high aesthetic quality," Sotheby’s said.
The highlight of the Sikh works is the impressive and large 1937 oil-on-canvas portrait of the first Sikh guru by Arjan Singh. The work has an estimate of USD 40,000-60,000.
The Indian miniatures in the sale are led by a group of paintings that were once in the collection of noted English peer John Lord Northwick who built a renowned art collection during his lifetime. These works were acquired by Hastings.
Leading the modern paintings in the sale is an untitled work by Bawa. The canvas is one of the largest paintings produced by the artist and the most important work by him ever to appear at auction (USD 200,000-300,000).
Husain returns to one of the most important subjects in his work in an untitled painting showing a woman riding a leaping horse (USD 80,000-120,000).
An untitled 'Metascape' work from Akbar Padamsee is a further highlight of the modern paintings in the sale (USD 80,000-120,000).
A vivid composition by Jagdish Swaminathan depicting mountains, trees and birds is clearly reminiscent of Indian miniatures (Untitled, USD 100,000-150,000).
L’Inconnu painted in 1971 by Raza (USD 120,000-180,000) marks a period of exploration in the artist’s career.
A highlight in the modern Indian section of the sale is a group of fine, early modern paintings from the collection of Emmanuel Schlesinger.
A European emigre who arrived in Bombay in 1939, Schlesinger lived there until his death in 1968, befriending and mentoring first generation of artists in post-Independence India.
Culled from private collections in the US, Canada, UK and Europe, and with impeccable provenance, the auction presents a unique opportunity to collectors to acquire works by these artists.
Featured in this section are a watercolour and ink work by Nandalal Bose that captures the timelessness of the Bengal countryside and a 1939 ink on paper by Rabindranath Tagore.