At a recent auction organised by renowned auction house Sotheby's in New York, two paintings by the Bangladeshi art maestro, revered as 'Shilpacharya' Zainul Abedin, fetched a record price, the highest on record for a Bangladeshi artist.

Sotheby's, which was founded in London close to 300 years ago but is now headquartered in New York, recently organised an auction titled "Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art", where these two paintings were auctioned at record prices.

According to the Sotheby's website, one of the two paintings, "Untitled (Couple)," which depicts a Santal couple (Oil on canvas, 1963), sold for $381,000, or around Tk 4,16,29,622 (Tk 4 crore 16 lakh 29 thousand 622) based on today's USD to BDT exchange rate ($1 = BDT 109.26).

The other painting, also "Untitled" depicts a woman at rest, wearing a sky-blue saree and scarlet bangles, created between 1956 and 1963 using oil paints on board. This painting sold for USD 279,400, equivalent to approximately Tk 3,05,28,389 (3 crore 5 lakh 28 thousand 389).

The first painting, which measures 102 cm in width and 135.5 cm in length, was initially estimated to be valued between 100,000 and 150,000 USD, according to the Sotheby's website. The second one, which measures 80.4 cm in length and 60.4 cm in breadth, was initially estimated to be valued between 80,000 and 120,000 USD.

Both were from the Marker family collection, which the Sotheby's website referred to as "Property from The Estate of His Excellency Jamsheed K Marker and Diana J Marker."

BBC reports that both of them were close friends of Zainul Abedin. The Shilpacharya often visited the Marker couple's house and at that time introduced several famous South Asian artists to them.

However, the website did not reveal the details of the buyers. Art collectors often prefer to remain anonymous.

Art connoisseurs in the country opined that these two paintings are among the highest selling prices among Shilpacharya's artworks.

In early 2018, Christie's, the famous New York-based auction house, auctioned off another artwork by Zainul Abedin from the Santal series for Tk 1.5 crore in Bangladeshi currency.

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