S.H. Raza

Artist Profile

Sayed Haider Raza, or S.H. Raza is one of India’s most celebrated artists. Born on 22 February, 1922 in Madhya Pradesh, Raza was instrumental in creating a distinct modernist identity for Indian art alongside other acclaimed masters such as M.F. Husain, F.N. Souza, and Akbar Padamsee, who were all part of the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group (PAG).

For his invaluable contribution to Indian art, S.H. Raza has been awarded the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India. Raza was also awarded with the highest French civilian honour, the ‘Legion of Honour’, in July 2015.

S.H. Raza became one of India's priciest modern artists when his seminal work, Saurashtra, was sold for Rs. 16.42 crore ($3.48 million) at a Christie’s auction in June 2010. His works are mainly abstracts in oil or acrylic, with a very rich use of colour, replete with icons from Indian cosmology as well as its philosophy.

Raza studied painting at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1950 to 1953, and continued living in France for many years with his wife, the French artist Janine Mongillat. After she passed away in 2002, he moved to New Delhi, India, where he continued to paint for several hours a day even when he was in his 90s, until he passed away on 23 July, 2016.

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