Krishen KHANNA


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Status, price and estimation of the artist Krishen KHANNA

Price of a painting by Khanna: 4,000 – 100,000€.

Estimate for a drawing or watercolour by the artist at auction: €1,000 – 7,000

Artist’s quote for a print: 500 – 1,000€.

If you wish to have a painting by the artist appraised, our experts are at your disposal for a free valuation.

Self-directed training

Krishen KHANNA is a Pakistani-Indian painter born in 1925 in Lyallpur. He lives and works today in New Delhi.

In 1940, he entered the Imperial Service College in Winsdor, England as a student. Back in Lahore, he apprenticed with Sheikh Ahmed, a painter from Bangladesh. The artist encouraged him to paint from life.

In 1948, Krishen Khanna moved to Bombay with his family. He worked as a banker. At the same time, from 1950 onwards, he maintained close relations with the group of progressive artists in Bombay, thus continuing his self-taught training in painting.

Art or banking?

In 1953, the artist moved to Madras and became interested in Carnatic music, traditional Indian music. This influence is strongly felt in his work.

In 1961, after 14 years of loyal service, Krishen Khanna left his job as a banker to devote himself to his artistic activity.

In 1962, thanks to a Rockefeller grant, he visited Japan. From then on, the artist was deeply inspired by Asian calligraphy and works in Chinese ink. He then executed a whole series of works on rice paper.

In 1962, and again in 1990 and 2011, he received several awards from the Indian government as a testament to his talent.

In 1964, he returned to New Delhi.

In the 1970s, the war in Bangladesh prompted him to create a series of politically engaged paintings entitled ‘The Game’.

In 1980, Krishen Khanna took up the theme of individual suffering by describing the betrayal of Christ. More generally, his works are a social critique of India in the 1970s.

A dedicated artist

The artist often depicts works of Christian inspiration, to denounce the violence of the world in which he lives. He then focused his art on the representation of Christ as a human being, and no longer as God, to emphasise his suffering and the notion of sacrifice.

These ideas can be found in a famous work, such as Blessings on a battle field (1999), in which the artist combines religion and medieval inspiration to evoke the difficulties of war. This work sold for €43,123 at Christie’s New York on 12 September 2012. Lazarus, Come Forth, sold for €164,301 (Christie’s, New York, 20 March 2008), is another example of the artist’s success in the auction house.

The artist is now collected by the world’s greatest museums and has exhibited alone in the largest cities: including New York, London, New Orleans and Oxford.

Appraise and sell a painting by Krishen Khanna

If you own a Krishen Khanna painting or any other sculpture, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your painting. In the event of a sale, our specialists will also advise you on the various options available to sell your work at the best price.