The Hindu deity Shiva, portrayed in an untitled Manjit Bawa artwork, sold for $2.3 million (about Rs 20 crore), a record for the artist at the most recent Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art auction held by Sotheby's in London.
According to the firm, the total auction generated $9,948,988 (Rs 84.3 crore), which is twice its pre-sale estimate. Over 88 per cent of the lots outperformed their estimates, and all but one of the 77 lots found a buyer.
According to Sotheby's, Bawa is known for his vibrant colour palettes and use of traditional Indian colours in the artworks. The untitled piece was painted ten years before the artist's passing, in 1995, reinterpreting Shiva in a modern setting.
The groundbreaking work "People at Mosque" by artist Bhupen Khakhar was also up for auction; it brought in $1.8 million (Rs 14.7 crore). According to Sotheby's, this painting, which dates from before 1967, is among Khakhar's earliest and represents the start of his neo-miniaturist style. The artwork was purchased shortly after it was shown at Khakhar's first solo exhibition in New Delhi that year, and it was brought out for this sale after nearly fifty years.
Another record was set at the auction when a masterpiece from Rabindranath Tagore's later years sold for $772,382 (about Rs 6.4 crore). The painting, which was completed a few years prior to the artist's death in 1941, has spent eight decades in Dartington Hall and was made available for purchase by the Dartington Hall Trust along with other artwork.
Other artworks included works by MF Hussain, Francis Newton Souza, SH Raza, Zarina, among others.