Three Girls, by Amrita Sher-Gil
The 1935 painting ‘Three Girls‘ is oil on canvas, painted by Hungarian-Indian artist Amrita Sher-Gil (1913-1941). The work depicts three young women, on the cusp of marriageable age.
This year marked an important period in Sher-Gil’s life. She had returned to India after feeling a strong and urgent need, like a message from destiny itself. The work, being one of her first works after arriving in India, contrasts significantly with Sher-Gil’s earlier work.
Compare and contrast
When comparing, one can see the different style influence compared to her previous paintings. Her debut piece ‘Young Girls’ (1932) held an airiness that was appreciated by her Post-Impressionism influences. Yet ‘Three Girls’ felt a harder modernist impact. There is a simplification of figures, flatter colours, more prominent lines and obvious rhythm provided through the line work. Also, there are no objects present to distract the viewer. The shadows of the girls provides a heavy atmosphere.
There are some similarities between the two works. This includes the clear link of Sher-Gil’s overarching focus on women. The focal point on women is present in most of her pieces. India, and representing India, was a huge part of Sher-Gil’s identity. Amrita Sher-Gil wanted to bring the lives of Indian women into focus through her work. It is because of these paintings that we’re left with so many questions about these women and their lives. We feel connected to them through the canvas.
‘Three Girls’ is held in the collection of the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi.
- Sher-Gil, A. (1935). Three Girls. Retrieved from: https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/amrita-sher-gil/amrita-sher-gil-room-2-return-india
- Tate. (n.d). Work in Focus Amrita Sher-Gil. Retrieved from: https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/amrita-sher-gil/amrita-sher-gil-room-1-early-years-paris