Painting to me has always been an A4 size white sheet with a 4*4 rectangular hut on it with some clouds in the background and ‘V-shaped’ grass in the front. I would paint the house brown and the space outside the hut all blue. Then, to use the rest of the water color bottles of my Camel Color box of 12, I will mix some yellow in one groove of the palette and orange in another. I will spray this all over the sheet and be happy about my painting. Sometimes, out of generosity (read: out of fear that the colors might dry up because of little use), I would sprinkle some sparkle and white on the sheet. And there, that would be my ‘The Starry Night’.
Five years back, I accidentally read about Amrita Shergill while reading up on Amrita Rao (the actress). The name itself sounded so mysterious to me. When I checked out her paintings and portraits, I fell in love with her.
Such style and such uniqueness – not everyone can put so many emotions on one piece of paper & make it look beautiful and bold – at the same time. I have loved her since then. And when I realised that they have a floor dedicated to her paintings in Modern Art Gallery, it took me no time to plan my visit there.
How to reach National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi?
Take a metro to Mandi House or Khan Market. And book an auto from there to the Gallery.
Entry fee for Indian Nationals is INR 20 & INR 500 for foreign nationals.
Timings are 10:00 am to 5:00 pm & it’s closed on Mondays and National Holidays.
You need at least 4-5 hours to take an entire tour of the Gallery. Nothing less than that.
Amrita Shergill: Paintings that mesmerise you
They have dedicated an entire floor (basement) to Amrita Shergill. The floor is bright like her face and colorful like her life.
In some paintings, you see longing for beloved like in’group of three girls’ while in some – you see innocence and indifference like in ‘child bride’.
‘Bride’s Toilet’ paints a beautiful picture of married and single women, celebrating the precious moments of life in simple ways. ‘Brahamacharis’ is a masterpiece illustrating how diversity exists in similarity. If you look in the eyes of the dark guy (at the left) of the painting, you feel he is looking at you back. Like he knows, you are trying to fathom the mystery of the painting, but won’t be able to do it unless he gives away the secrets. Try it!
She was born in an era when we did not have many female painters & still she excelled at that. Her technique, color understanding & portrayal of human emotions remain the best. I don’t have enough words to even comment on how much of a great painter she was. All I can say is – She is my hero.
My personal favorite remains this:
You would also see incredible paintings and masterpieces from eminents painters such as Jamini Roy, Thomas Danielle, Raja Ravi Verma, Rabindranath Tagore & Nandanlal Bose, here.
Do pay a visit to National Gallery of Modern Art if you are tired of malls, bars and restaurants and want to do something new.
Bummer: They don’t let you click any picture. 😦