New Delhi: United States` largest auctioneer of fine art, Sotheby’s, had the honour to sell at least fifteen art works by legendary painter MF Husain, including a canvas work he gifted to Italian film director Roberto Rossellini and his Indian wife at a total whopping price of Rs. 11.69 crores.
Nothing could have been a better gift for Husain who celebrated his 95th birthday on September 16, as his famous painting called `Cinq Sens` (Five Senses) alone fetched Rs. 3.6 crores. The particular canvas was painted in Italy in 1958 at the home of Rossellini and his Indian wife Sonali Sen Roy Dasgupta.
Reportedly, Husain is known to have spent extended periods of time in Italy with the Rossellinis during the late 1950, subsequently gifting it to the couple, from whom it was acquired by the current owner.
In addition to ‘Cinq Sens’, a number of other Husain paintings fetched high prices including ‘That Obscure Object of Desire’, ‘Diptych’ which secured USD 482,500 and Untitled (Benares) which sold for USD 362,500.
Other artists whose works featured in the auction included F N Souza, Ram Kumar, Manjit Bawa, Jamini Roy and Subodh Gupta.
Zara Porter Hill, international head of Indian art at Sotheby`s, said, "The vibrancy of the Indian art market returned to Sotheby`s in this sale. Paintings from the 18th century to the latest contemporary art achieved exceptional prices with a number of artist records being set.”
"The result far exceeded the low estimate and was a validation of our strategy. This focuses on carefully curated and strategically estimated high quality sales, and these have produced this year`s consistently strong sell through rates. Competitive international bidding resulted in more than half the sold lots achieving prices in excess of the high estimate."