A 1961 oil painting by noted painter VS Gaitonde went under the hammer at the Saffronart Spring Live Auction for a record ₹39.98 crore, the highest an Indian art has ever fetched at an auction across the world.
The untitled painting, which went under the hammer on March 11 evening, was a part of the collection of Aditi Mangaldas and Aditya Mangaldas, children of industrialist Harshvadan Mangaldas and his wife Devyani who’ve had it at their Ahmedabad home for four decades.
It broke the master painter’s own 2020 record when another of his untitled oil-on-canvas made in 1974 was sold for ₹36.8 crore at an auction by Pundole’s.
The two sales reflected a healing art market from the pandemic woes.
Saffronart is an Indian online art auction house. Its co-founder and CEO Dinesh Vazirani said the sale of Gaitonde’s masterpiece and the success of the Spring Live Auction sets a strong and optimistic precedent for the year ahead.
Aditi Mangaldas, a choreographer, shared her memories of growing up with the work and called it a “silent but an extremely beautiful and powerful spectator of all these happenings in our family, the ups and downs in our lives,” according to a The Indian Express report.
While Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi was the world’s most expensive painting to go under the hammer at $450.3 million in 2017, Indian art too has now touched the million-dollar milestone in public auctioning.
Gaitonde has been one of the top earners in the Indian auction circuit with one of his 1982 untitled work fetching ₹26.7 crore at Mumbai-based Saffronart and another work of 1973 bringing ₹25.2 crore.