Lot 141
  • 141

Kattingeri Krishna Hebbar

40,000 - 60,000 USD
43,750 USD
bidding is closed


  • Kattingeri Krishna Hebbar
  • Victims 
  • Signed and dated 'Hebbar / 61' lower left and further signed, dated, titled and inscribed 'VICTIMS / oil 1961 / by K.K. Hebbar . Bombay -16' on the stretcher on reverse 
  • Oil on canvas


Acquired directly from the artist in early 1960s by Fanny and Rafo N. Ivančević
Thence by descent
Mr. Rafo N. Ivančević  was the Consul-General of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia in India. He and his wife Fanny lived in Bombay from 1961 – 65. They were both art and culture enthusiasts, who befriended many artists and inaugurated a number of art exhibitions during their tenure in India. The artist was a close personal friend of the couple.

Catalogue Note

Katingeri Krishna Hebbar throughout his career remained engaged with classical Indian art forms, in particular the murals of Ajanta and the miniature tradition of the Mughal and Rajput courts. Having rejected the academic realist technique he had assimilated at the Sir J.J. School of Art in Mumbai, Hebbar was in constant search for a compelling personal style that better suited the themes he yearned to explore. In addition to his art education in Bombay, the artist was exposed to Western styles during his stint at the Académie Julian in Paris. In his work, Hebbar sought to create his own style that blended the ancient and the modern. Throughout his career he experimented with a gamut of themes spanning indigenous folk traditions to Western Modernism in his quest to formulate a personal idiom that encapsulated not merely a visual but also a sensory response to his subjects and surroundings.
Hebbar’s sympathy for the poor and those suffering from displacement, conflict or famine is embodied in paintings like this and other acclaimed works of the 1960s such as Paisa (1960) and Drywood (1968). Within Hebbar’s oeuvre, scenes of happiness and play are rife, but also coexist with the more muted themes of war and unrest, as with this painting. The artist’s awe of the figurative form is tempered by the distinct awareness of destruction and pity. In this painting, the harshness of the lines are elevated by the sombre grey-earthly palette. Nonetheless he is able to capture the pathos of this scene with painterly eminence.
'From the very beginning of my life as a painter it has been my aim to be able to express my joys and sorrows through color and line as freely as a child expresses hunger by crying or its joy by laughter. For this purpose I had to learn the vocabulary of art and also to draw sustenance from the vast treasure accumulated from the past and practiced at present all over the world.' (K.K. Hebbar, Voyage in Images, Jehangir Art Gallery, Bombay, 1991, Introduction)