Prisoner of War, 70in x 50in, Oil on canvas, year 1987

Prisoner of War, 70in x 50in, Oil on canvas, year 1987

Rameshwar Broota’s 1987 painting was among the top sales at the Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary South Asian ArtAuction. The painting titled ‘Prisoner of War’ fetched 182,500GBP, more than the double of its high estimate.

The current painting is from the artist’s momentous series of works focused on male form. The Sotheby’s catalogue note describes the power of Broota’s work as ‘relying on stark simplicity, brevity of statement, and impeccable grasp of detail; and it is these elements, rather than any overarching ideology or aesthetic doctrine that makes it as powerful as it is.’

The auction was largely dominated by modernists with Tyeb Mehta in the lead. Other artists that procured high figures were Akbar Padamsee, Mrinalini Mukherjee, Jagdish Swaminanthan, and Subodh Gupta.