Tyeb Mehta's painting "Durga Mahisasura Mardini" was sold for USD 2.9 million (Rs 20.49 crore) at Boundless India, Sotheby's inaugural auction in Mumbai, Thursday evening.
Mehta's painting had remained in the same private collection ever since it was commissioned directly from the artist in 1993.
This is only the seventh oil painting by the artist to be offered anywhere in the world. The work had remained in the same collection for 80 years, since it was selected by Sher-Gil for her first solo show in 1937.
Earlier in the sale, another work by Sher-Gil, a work on paper created by her when she was just 10 years old, was also sold.
Also, one of the most important sculptures created in modern India, an untitled 1950s bronze by Sadanand Bakre, achieved a record price for any 20th century Indian sculpture at Rs 1.88 crore.
Edward Gibbs, Sothebys Chairman for the Middle East and India, said: "This is a milestone moment for Sotheby's; Tonights sale reflects Sothebys continued commitment to the South Asian market."
Yamini Mehta, Sothebys International Head of Indian and South Asian Art, said, "Tonights results are a vote of confidence for the South Asian art market, with significant new records and benchmarks achieved across many different artists and genres.
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