Amrita Sher-Gil (1913-1941), often referred to as "India's Frida Kahlo," was one of the country's most renowned 20th-century painters. The daughter of an Indian aristocrat and a Hungarian opera singer, Sher-Gil attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where she was influenced by the great European artists of the time. It was upon her return to India, however, that she discovered her artistic mission - expressing the life of Indian people through her canvas. In addition to her artistic fame, Sher-Gil was noted for her many lovers, with her bisexual love life a source of both scandal and allure. A prolific correspondent and diarist, Sher-Gil began writing when she was just seven years old, a habit she continued throughout her life, providing a vivid portrait of a passionate, outspoken artist whose life was cut short at the age of 28.
Dr. Judith Brown is an Associate Professor in the English department at Indiana University. Her research focuses on modernist literature, culture and aesthetics. Dr. Brown recently presented on Sher-Gil at the Indiana University South Asian Feminist Conference.