New Delhi: Maqbool
Fida Husain's "The Sixth Seal" and Syed Haider Raza's oil
composition "Rue Des Fosses St Jaques" are the highlights of
Sotheby's South Asian modern and contemporary art sale to be held
May 31 in London, a release said.
Altogether 62 lots on sale at the auction are expected to fetch in
excess of 2.8 million pounds (Rs.205 million).
Husain's work, estimated at 500,000 pounds, shows the balance
between the artist's cubist modern style of painting and Indian
traditional sensibility and subject matter.
This work, formerly in the collection of Chester and Davida
Herwitz, incorporates many of the artist's most recognisable
themes and symbols, traditional forms of ancient Indian
miniatures, sculptures, dance and folk art in one frame.
The painting is made up of six vignettes -- a compositional device
used by the artist in a number of his early works. The work was
exhibited at Oxford's Museum of Modern Art's 'India: Myth and
Reality, Aspects of Modern Indian Art' in 1982, a statement issued
Tuesday evening by Sotheby's said.
Another important work on sale is "Rue des Fosses St Jaques" -- an
oil composition on canvas by Raza from his Paris period. It is
estimated at 500,000 pounds.
Made a year after Raza was awarded the 'Prix de la Critique', a
French award, the painting depicts the view from his studio window
and represents an important early phase in his career where he
abandons the confines of traditional watercolour and develops a
unique idiom in oil in which space and colour seem to feed into
In 1958, the painting was photographed with the artist by master
lensman Henri Cartier Bresson.
Another composition featuring Raza's 'bindu' in blue, red, yellow,
white and black will also be on sale. The 'bindu' or the dots in
Raza's works symbolise the five elements of nature. The work is
estimated at 600,000 pounds.
Jehangir Sabavala's "The Tree", a landscape in oil, is estimated
at 75,000 pounds. The painting is part of the artist's Tungabhadra
landscapes, painted in 1965 following a visit by the Sabavalas to
The artist was moved by the ruins at Hampi and in particular by
the starkness of the artificial lake in Tungabhadra river, at the
border between Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
The auction will also include an untitled canvas by Manjit Bawa,
inspired by the Rajput and the Pahari style of paintings. It is
estimated at 100,000 pounds.
The auction will offer Subodh Gupta's monumental sculpture "Hungry
God", and two early oil paintings by Francis Newton Souza.
Francis Newton Souza compositions have an interesting provenance.
They were acquired directly from the artist by writer and poet
Stephen Spender and sourced by Sotheby's from the Estate of Sir
Stephen and Lady Spender.