Tyeb Mehta's Mahishasura fetches $2.2m at Christie sale

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Mahishasura by Tyeb Mehta
Image caption,
Mehta's Mahishasura was the top sale in the auction

Indian artist Tyeb Mehta's painting Mahishasura has sold for $2.2m (£1.4m) at auction in London.

The 1996 painting was among 122 works featuring in Christie's annual London sale of South Asian art. The buyer was an un-named "Asian institution".

All the top 10 slots were taken by Indian artists, who also included Syed Haider Raza and Maqbool Fida Husain.

Four of Raza's paintings fetched $1.23m (£791,000) between them, Christie's said.

Mahishasura recounts a Hindu legend where a demon-king produces a son through his union with a she-buffalo.

Before Monday's sale, Christie's had said they expected it to fetch between $1.8m and $2.8m.

Collectors, institutions and dealers participated from South East Asia, India, the Middle East, Europe and the United States, Christie's said. Bidders could take part in person, on the phone or online.

Husain's Cinq Sens, another star attraction at the auction, sold for $147,492 (£94,850). It had been expected to fetch between $92,994 (£60,000) and $123,992 (£80,000).

The painting was formerly in the collection of Italian filmmaker Roberto Rossellini and his Indian wife Sonali Dasgupta. It had been a gift to Rossellini from the artist who was a friend.

The auction also featured Pakistani artists, including Anwar Jalal Shemza, Muhammad Zeeshan, Khadim Ali, Aisha Khalid and Talha Rathore.

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