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B. PRABHA (1933-2001)
B. PRABHA (1933-2001)


B. PRABHA (1933-2001)
signed and dated 'b.prabha.1964.' (lower left)
oil on canvas
25 x 30 in. (63.5 x 76.2 cm.)
Painted in 1964
Acquired directly from the artist
Thence by descent

Born in Calcutta, Dr. Robert Crane was one of the foremost scholars and teachers of Indian history in the United States, and a leading advocate of Indian-American relations, particularly through the study of India in American universities. Dr. Crane has several publications on the subject to his credit, and taught at the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, Duke University, where he founded the South Asia Center, and Syracuse University, where he was the Ford-Maxwell Professor of South Asian History. Apart from his intellectual and academic ties to India, Dr. Crane returned to the country on several occassions, keeping in touch with its people, arts and culture.

Lot Essay

B. Prabha was born in the village of Bela near Nagpur in 1933. She studied at the Nagpur School of Art and later at the Sir J.J. School of Art, in Mumbai. Following a period of abstraction in the early 1950s she developed an elegant and elongated style of painting to which she remained true throughout her career.

As a female artist working in the late 1950s she used her privileged position for strong social commentary regarding the status of women in rural India. Prabha's paintings cover a wide range of subjects from landscapes and villages to socio-economic issues in the aftermath of drought, poverty and homelessness. However the most significant feature of her work was her attempt to immortalize and dignify the unsung woman.

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