Three Girls, by Amrita Sher-Gil, 1935

Painted in 1935, Three Girls won the Gold Medal at the annual exhibition of the Bombay Art Society in 1937.

Painted in 1935, Three Girls won the Gold Medal at the annual exhibition of the Bombay Art Society in 1937.

Amrita Sher-Gil was an important female Indian artist in the 20th century whose work often depicts poor Indian villagers and women in reflection of their condition. Instead depicting the women as sensual creatures, Sher-Gil chooses to show the subjects in a state of meditation through the skillful use of facial expressions and tone.

I think it’s important to acknowledge that Sher-Gil chose subjects who were not wealthy or who wore elaborate costumes, but instead chose subjects who appear to be quite regular in social status. The bright colors Sher-Gil uses is juxtaposed with the deep contemplative expressions the subjects wear, creating a kind of richness in their state of thought. The image itself seems quiet and reflective, prompting the viewer to try and empathize with the women, rather than to see the women as objects of desire.

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