A bygone era on canvas at SG Thakar Gallery in Amritsar

A bygone era on canvas at SG Thakar Gallery in Amritsar

Old world charm A decorative sculpture at the entrance with the facade of the SG Thakar Singh Art Gallery in the backdrop.

Art galleries are known to give a glimpse into the era gone-by. These not only feature eminent works by several artists but also serve as a cultural space for art enthusiasts.

Tribune correspondent Neha Saini & lensman Sunil Kumar visit SG Thakar Gallery that houses paintings & artworks of not just Thakar but of his contemporaries as well

The holy city is known for its old world charm. Apart form being a spiritual hub, it is also a focal point of art and culture. Bearing testimony to this fact is the SG Thakar Singh Art Gallery situated in the heart of the city. Run by the Indian Academy of Fine Arts Amritsar (IAFA), it is one of the oldest and the most prestigious art institutions of India. Established in 1928 by Thakar Singh other members, including Master Gurdit Singh, another eminent artist of that time with the help of other artists, the academy initially also ran the Thakar Singh School of Arts. Started from one room, the gallery now has three exhibition halls, an auditorium and several workshops and demonstration rooms. Works of eminent artists from the city and the region, including Sobha Singh, Phulan Kaur, Arpana Caur, OP Verma, Baldev Gambhir, Shivdev Singh and others also find place here.

SG Thakar Singh, one of the most celebrated artists from the region, was born in Verka, in 1899. He became the state artist for more than 10 princely states at the time when India was under the British Raj. His first commercial work got him Rs500 when he was only 18 years of age. Most of his portraits of royals and dignitaries adorn places such as Pataudi Palace, Parliament House and Kolkata Museum. Among his most celebrated works is his painting ‘After Bath’ that won the second prize of £800 at the British Empire Exhibition in London in 1924. It was later owned by the Maharaja of Patiala.

Beautifully-crafted embossed sculptures at the entrance of the gallery, made by artists Avtar Singh and Radha Krishna in early 1970s.

One of the untitled paintings by SG Thakar Singh, similar to his most celebrated work ‘Afterbath’. The artist came up with this work in 1950.

A sculpture in red stone by artist Shivdev Singh sculpted in 1980. It is an abstract depiction of nature and balance using geometrical patterns.

The exhibition hall dedicated to the work of SG Thakar Singh was set up in 1996 and has 146 of his works on display. It has the original paintings and lithographs of his famous works that are on display in museums and galleries around the world.

A brush with taj SG Thakar’s one of the eminent works is a Taj Mahal painting of 1968. A unique thing about the painting is that it depicts the Mughal piece of architecture’s rear view which existed during that period of time.

A rare pencil sketch by artist AB Nazir. The untitled sketch was made way back in 1939.

Brush-wielding star A painting by actor and artist Dipti Naval adorns the gallery. Painted using knife and brush technique and inspired by the theme of Goddess Kali and the hills, Naval made this in 2004.

Artist SG Thakar Singh’s portrait of the immortal and renowned poet Mirza Ghalib painted in 1961.

A portrait of Mahatma Gandhi by artist Sobha Singh made in 1953. He painted this after his assassination in 1948.

An intricate thread artwork by Bibi Ranjit Kaur, wife of SG Thakar Singh in 1935. It depicts Prithviraj Chauhan writing a letter to Maharana Pratap on his surrender to Akbar.

An abstract design by Pakistani artist Mahmoodul Hassan Jafri. Known for working with gold and silver in his composition, he made this in 2004.

A self portrait by artist Phulan Rani, considered among the most celebrated artists in the region and the country.

Aesthetic delight An untitled portrait of a woman with peacocks in the background, painted by Phulan Rani in 1954.

Medals received by Thakar from several dignitaries in the past for his art work have also been displayed at the gallery.

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