Sold for `1,000 in 1960, Padamsee work goes for record `19.19 crore

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Con­tem­po­rary In­dian artist Ak­bar Padamsee set a new high at Saf­fronart’s auc­tion with his work “Greek Land­scape” go­ing un­der the ham­mer for Rs19.19 crore, break­ing his ear­lier record.

The 4.3 x 12 feet can­vas, es­ti­mated at Rs7-9 crore, more than dou­bled its up­per es­ti­mate in the sale on Thurs­day evening. The win­ning bid sur­passed the pre­vi­ous record set by Sotheby’s in 2011 for “Re­clin­ing Nude”, 1960.

The auc­tion also set other records for mod­ern In­dian art as Nas­reen Mo­hamedi’s 1960 oil on can­vas sold for a record Rs2.4 crore. “I bought this paint­ing for my per­sonal col­lec­tion,” said 92-year-old artist Kr­ishen Khanna, an art col­lec­tor who bought Greek Land­scape for roughly Rs1,000 in 1960. Though the spe­cific data re­mains un­avail­able, ex­perts are terming it as one of the high­est ever price jumps for an art­work.

“I liked the paint­ing and he [Padamsee] is a good friend of mine. This is one of his best paint­ings so I bought it,” adds Khanna.

“It was my sec­ond show at the Je­hangir Art Gallery (Mum­bai) put up by Bal Ch­habda,” says Ak­bar Padamsee re­mem­ber­ing that all the paint­ings in the show were bought by his fel­low artists. “MF Hu­sain bought one work, which was the largest in size — 22 feet and Kr­ishen bought this one. Another one Re­clin­ing Nude was bought by ac­tor Shammi Kapoor.”

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