Untitled (pietà)


A pencil sketch of pietà, the Italian word for ‘pity’ that refers to the Biblical episode where Mary cradles the head of her dead son, Jesus. The artist’s work here is inspired to a large extent by the Pietà, a 15th-century marble sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti. A distraught Mary sits with the limp body of Jesus on her lap in front of the crucifix. Her face is hidden by her hands in a gesture of grief while her feet seem to be firmly positioned on the ground to support the body of Jesus.

Krishen Khanna was born in pre-partition Punjab and moved to Bombay to work as a banker. Art had been a constant interest in his life, and in Bombay he became associated with the PAG. He continued his art practice simultaneously with his day job at Grindlay’s Bank, largely creating works that bore imprints of the traumatic experiences of the Partition.

Untitled (pietà)
Krishen Khanna
Pencil on paper
H: 35; W: 25
Accession No.