22nd September 2017
Saffronart’s​ ​rare​ ​Gaitonde​ ​canvas​ ​among​ ​top​ ​5​ most​ ​expensive paintings​ ​by​ ​the​ artist

Modernists emerged strong at Saffronart’s ​Evening Sale​ which concluded last night at The Leela in New Delhi. 86% lots sold for a total of INR 66 crores (USD 10.4 million), with paintings by V S Gaitonde, Nicholas Roerich, Tyeb Mehta and Bhupen Khakhar leading the sale.

V S Gaitonde’s expansive blue canvas, ​s, Untitled, ​1963 ​(below left), led the ​Evening Sale​. Estimated at INR 10 – 15 crores (USD 1.5 – 2.3 million), it doubled its lower estimate, selling for INR 19.99 crores (USD 3.17 million). The painting earned a place among the five most expensive artworks by the artist sold worldwide at auction. The painting is also the most expensive artwork sold by Saffronart to date.

Nicholas Roerich’s ​Himalayas, ​1940 , sold for four times its lower estimate at INR 4.8 crores (USD 761,905). The painting’s pre-sale estimate was INR 1.2 – 1.8 crores (USD 190,480 – 285,715). Russian by birth, Roerich made India his home in the 1920s. His breathtaking paintings of the Himalayas earned him the title of Wizard of Eastern Landscapes and Master of Mountains. Himalayas is the most expensive artwork by the artist sold at auction in India.

Tyeb Mehta’s ​Crucifixion, 1959 , was one of the artist’s most unique paintings, given its Christian theme. It was estimated at INR 4 – 6 crores (USD 634,925 – 952,385). The painting sold for INR 4.2 crores (USD 666,667), crossing its lower estimate. The winning bid came in through Saffronart’s mobile app, which has made the bidding process more convenient​ ​for​ ​users​ ​around​ ​the​ ​world.

Commenting on the success of the auction, CEO Hugo Weihe said, “We are delighted with the strong results achieved in our Evening Sale. Demand for modern Indian artists continues to grow, with new bidders and buyers coming in from around the world. We saw enthusiastic participation from the mobile app and on the telephone. The painting by Gaitonde represents a Saffronart record, and is an important milestone for the company. We were happy to see strong bidding for entry-level price points, which underscores a growing interest among new buyers.”


Image: Saffronart CEO Hugo Weihe discusses V S Gaitonde’s, Untitled, 1963