Date of Birth: 1914 - 1985
Medium: Watercolour on paper
Size: 21 x 28 inches, 53.5 x 71 cms
Signed by: Signed ‘Ara’ on lower right
Provenance: Collection of a reputed art gallery, New Delhi Acquired from Saffronart Auction, June 2019
Estimate: ₹ 10,00,000 - ₹ 12,00,000
K. H. Ara (1914 -1985)
K. H. Ara, born in 1914, comes from a very humble background and saw difficult childhood. He came to Mumbai to earn a decent living. In spite of poverty, Ara had taken interest in art and painting. Later on, he came in contact with Walter Langhammer who was impressed by Ara’s work and had him enrolled at the J.J. School of Art. Initially, Ara started painting landscapes and still-life before moving to female nudes. He is recognised as one of the first contemporary Indian artists to focus on the female nude as a subject. His early works were versatile and they were easy stills from life. He won the Governor’s Medal in 1944. With repeated success, he gained the attention of his contemporary artists, so much so that he joined the Progressive Artists’ Group in 1948, and worked with M. F. Husain, F. N. Souza, S. H. Raza, among others. Ara’s still-life works comprise mostly of flowers in a vase. The vases often standing on a stool. Usually, a landscape appears in the background like in this particular work, the sight of a curtain. The flowers are in full bloom and the colours are extremely vibrant.