Gazing at the Sea

Can’t get away this weekend? Don’t fret. We bring you three seascapes by eminent Indian artists to lose yourself in. These tranquil works will go on auction at Saffronart’s upcoming Evening Sale in New Delhi on 20 September.



K K Hebbar, Untitled, 1987, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 in. Estimate: INR 25 – 35 lakhs (USD 35,715 – 50,000). Image courtesy of Saffronart.

This oil on canvas seascape by K K Hebbar demonstrates his mastery over subject and medium. Extending from the shore and a fishing boat in the foreground, out to the horizon, it evokes the power and vastness of the ocean through a skilful layering of paint. Hebbar often used titanium white as an opaque undercoat, sometimes even scraping off a layer and finishing with brushwork and a palette knife to build richly textured scenes. “[These] scintillating jewel bright flecks of pigment, flickering between thickly applied layers of impasto, form the key note to the signature style of K K Hebbar’s paintings.” (Rekha Rao and Rajani Prasanna, Hebbar: An Artist’s Quest, Bangalore: National Gallery of Modern Art and K K Hebbar Foundation, 2011, p. 139)



Bhupen Khakhar, Sea View from Marina Resort, 1999, watercolour on paper, 14 x 14.25 in. Estimate: INR 8 – 10 lakhs (USD 11,430 – 14,290). Image courtesy of Saffronart.

Bhupen Khakhar is best known for his bold, vibrant works based on personal experiences. Khakhar, however, was equally adept at landscapes. This serene watercolour work portrays a rocky beach fringed by palm trees, with a boat swaying on the blue ocean waves. In addition to the title and artist’s signature, the painting bears the inscription “Mauritius” in Gujarati. It is quite likely that this gentle rendering of the sand and the sea is based on his visit to the country.



A A Raiba, Untitled, 1982, oil on jute, 19.75 x 35 in. Estimate: INR 6 – 8 lakhs (USD 8,575 – 11,430). Image courtesy of Saffronart.

A A Raiba drew inspiration from the charming coastal fishing villages of his native Konkan community. This painting exudes a sense of stillness in its portrayal of a moored ship watched by a solitary crane. Rendered in Raiba’s favoured earth tones, it suggests the calm that prevails at sunset after a day of fishing out at sea. The artist was known for his use of jute as the surface for his oil paintings, which he preferred over canvas owing to its availability and cost.


Saffronart’s Evening Sale will be held at The Oberoi, New Delhi on 20 September. The auction is preceded by viewings at The Oberoi from 10 – 18 September, where these paintings will be on display.

Over the next fortnight, we’ll be posting lots of interesting articles in conjunction with our September sale. Stay tuned!

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