Gaitonde's painting fetches record price at Sotheby's

London, June 13 (IANS) A newly discovered art piece - "Painting No. 1" of 1962 - by Indian artist Vasudeo S. Gaitonde has been sold for 698,500 pounds (about $1,093,000) at the Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art sale here.

This is the highest price of the summer season for auction house's South Asian Art sale known as the "Amaya collection". It was sold Tuesday.

Two paintings by late Indian artists M.F. Husain - "Jhoola" of 1961 and "Untitled" (three women with sitar) of 1979 - were sold for 242,500 and 188,500 pounds respectively.

Bhupen Khakhar's "Air, Stream and Speed" soared above its pre-sale estimate of 100,000-150,000 pounds to touch 182,500 pounds.

Gaitonde's masterpiece was consigned to an attic for many years since the owners were unaware that it was the work of an eminent Indian artist.

Discovered during a valuation by one of Sotheby's New York specialists, the treasured piece was estimated at 250,000-450,000 pounds during pre-sales.

"We were thrilled, but not altogether surprised that Gaitonde's exquisitely subtle and incandescent 'Painting No. 1' was the pick of the week's sales in London. There was intense competition for this important and exceptionally rare work," said Yamini Mehta, international head of Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art, Sotheby's London and New York in a statement.

"Painting No. 1" is the first of a series of works Gaitonde produced in 1962. "Painting No. 4" from the same series is currently in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

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