Tale of two painters- Amrita Sher-Gil and Frida Kahlo

“I can only paint in India. Europe belongs to Picasso, Matisse, Braque…. India belongs only to me”.

-Amrita Sher-Gil

Amrita Sher-Gil, an Indian painter, was born to Sikh father and Jewish mother in Budapest in 1913. She moved to India in 1921. Amrita was influenced by Mughal and Pahari style of painting, paintings of Ajanta and later, Bengal school of painting.



During her stay in India her subject was mainly Indian rural themes, her famous paintings include Bride’s toilet, Brahmacharis, South Indian villagers going to market, village scene etc. She also drew lot of self-portraits. Her paintings in India differ significantly from her earlier paintings which were influenced by European style of painting.

Amrita_Sher-Gil_-_South_Indian_Villagers_Going_to_Market[1] brahmacharis-1937[1]


Amrita married Dr. Victor Egan, initially they stayed in Saraya in UP and later moved to Lahore. Though she was married to Victor, she had many extra martial affairs .Amrita died in Lahore in 1941 at the age of 28 due to abortion related complications.

Her work was appreciated after her death, and today her paintings are among most expensive paintings by Indian artists.

“I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.”

-Frida Kahlo

In 1925, when Amrita was getting trained as a painter in Europe, in faraway Mexico a girl called Frida Kahlo de Rivera met with an accident while travelling in a bus, resulting in serious injuries. Frida was planning to become a doctor, but this accident forced her to become bed ridden for few months. To keep herself occupied during this period she started painting. She loved to draw self-portraits, which become dominant theme in her later paintings.

Frida_Kahlo_(self_portrait)[1] image[1]

She married famous Mexican painter Diego Rivera. But like Amrita, she too had many extra martial affairs.


Similarity does not end here, Frida too was young when she died in 1954, due to health complications at the age of 47, and like Amrita her work became famous after her death.

“I hope the exit is joyful — and I hope never to return”

-Frida Kahlo




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