Rare portraits of Gandhi to be auctioned in England

January 13th, 2012 - 6:01 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) A set of three portraits drawn from the life of Mahatma Gandhi by artist Clare Winsten will be auctioned in England on Jan 24 at the Mullocks Auction House.

The portraits estimated at 800-1,000 pounds ($1,230 to 1,530) each were drawn during Gandhi’s visit to England 1930-31 for the Round Table Conference. Winsten, who was actively involved in social humanitarian causes, was a great friend of Gandhi.

Mullocks specialist Richard Westwood Brookes said: “We are honoured to auction these highly significant portraits as they carry immense importance to the people of India.”

The sale will also include literature relating to Punjab and documents on the Indian Mutiny of 1857.

The portraits include Mahatma Gandhi, “India and Punjab - Mahatma Gandhi” (1930) and “Gandhi Meditation”, a statement by Mullock’s said.

Clare Winsten (1894-1989), Anglo-Jewish artist illustrator portraitist and sculptor, came to the Slade as a student in 1910, the year when Roger Fry’s “Manet and the Post-Impressionists” exhibition changed the views of many artists in London. She showed academic and artistic talent since her schooldays, and gained a scholarship to the Female School of Art.

The artist’s daughter Theodora recalls that her parents were involved in arts and social humanitarian causes that brought them in touch with like-minded people from many spheres.

“This affinity produced portraits of D.H. Lawrence, Montessori Catherine Lonsdale, Mahatma Gandhi, Bernard Shaw… My parents first met Mahatma Gandhi in the 1930s when living at Hampstead (and this) led to a remarkable series of paintings and drawings.

“There was such an empathy between them that Clare was invited to be there whenever she wanted. She also sketched Gandhi during his visit to England for the Round Table Conference of 1930-31. The drawing is sketched in pencil on a woven paper. It is a very rare drawing of Gandhi from life,” said Theodora.

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