That’s what happened with renowned artist Manjit Bawa’s untitled oil-on-canvas, created in 2000, depicting Vishnu reclining on a bed of snakes with a beast in the background. Expected to fetch about Rs 3.5 crore, it eventually went for a whopping Rs 7.78 crore, creating a new world record for the artist. (His previous record was Rs 5 crore, for a 1998 untitled Krishna and cow painting auctioned by Christie’s in New York last year.)
The sale was part of auction house AstaGuru’s 10th anniversary online sale held over Monday and Tuesday. The battle for this work went beyond the stipulated closing time for the auction.
“We never expected that it would sell at this price,” says Tushar Sethi, director of AstaGuru. “The winning bid was placed by a buyer who shuttles between India and London.”