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Amrita Sher-Gil (Punjabi: ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਾ ਸ਼ੇਰਗਿੱਲ; 30 Jan. 1913-5 Dec. 1941); eminent Indian painter. She has been called "one of the greatest avant-garde women artists of the early 20th century" and a "pioneer" in modern Indian art. Drawn to painting at a young age, Sher-Gil started getting formal lessons in the art, at age 8. Sher-Gil first gained recognition at 19, for her oil painting entitled Young Girls (1932).
Sher-Gil traveled throughout her life, to countries including Europe, Turkey, France and India, deriving heavily from their art styles and cultures. Sher-Gil is considered an important woman painter of 20th-c. India, whose legacy stands on a par with that of the pioneers of Bengal Renaissance. She was also an avid reader and a pianist. Sher-Gil's paintings are among the most expensive by Indian women painters today, although few acknowledged her work when she was alive.
She was born in Budapest, Hungary, to Umrao Singh Sher-Gil Majithia, a Sikh aristocrat and a scholar in Sanskrit and Persian, and Marie Antoniette Gottesmann, a Hungarian-Jewish opera singer who came from an affluent bourgeois family. Her parents first met in 1912, while Marie Antoinette was visiting Lahore. Her mother came to India as a companion of Princess Bamba Sutherland, the granddaughter of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Sher-Gil was the elder of 2 daughters... She spent most of early childhood in Budapest.
...In 1941, at age 28, just days before the opening of her first major solo show in Lahore, she became seriously ill and slipped into a coma. She later died around midnight on 6 December 1941, leaving behind a large volume of work. The reason for her death has never been ascertained. A failed abortion and subsequent peritonitis have been suggested as possible causes for her death. Her mother accused her doctor husband Victor of having murdered her. However, the day after her death Britain declared war on Hungary and Victor...