Style Icon | Amrita Sher-Gil

The daughter of a Sikh aristocrat and a Hungarian opera singer, painter Amrita Sher-Gil grew up in an unconventional household given the time and place in history.  While she was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1913, Amrita moved back and forth between India and Europe as a young girl, studying art and taking up painting along the way. At age 16,  she moved to Paris and settled down for a moment to attend the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. While classes proved to be more formal than she was used to, her rebellious nature led her to explore all that bohemian Paris had to offer. During these years, she openly explored her sexuality, having relationships with both men and women. She also experimented with her personal style, wearing typical 1920s Western fashions one day and traditional Indian saris the next. Personally, I'm enamored both with the bohemian elegance of Amrita's style as well as her richly-hued oil paintings. In fact, as I'm writing this I'm having one of those, 'How have I never heard of her!?' moments. If you hadn't heard of Amrita Sher-Gil, I hope you'll enjoy these images and her paintings as much as I do.

Artist Amrita Sher-Gil and her sister
Indian-Hungarian artist Amrita Sher-Gil
Indian-Hungarian artist Amrita Sher-Gil and sister
Amrita Sher-Gil and her sister, Indira
Indian-Hungarian artist Amrita Sher-Gil
Indian-Hungarian artist Amrita Sher-Gil
Indian-Hungarian artist Amrita Sher-Gil
Self-Portrait as Tahitian by Amrita Sher-Gil, 1934 
Sumair by Amrita Sher-Gil, 1936

Although her life was brief, Amrita left behind an extensive body of work, including Self-Portrait as Tahitian and Sumair, the two shown above. Most of her paintings can be seen at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi.