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Amrita Sher-Gil was born on January 30, 1913, in Hungary, to Umrao Singh Sher-Gil Mahithia (a Sikh aristocrat and a scholar of Sanskrit and Persian) and Marie Antoniette Gottessmann (a Hungarian Jewish Opera singer). Considered the pioneer of Indian modern art, Sher-Gil artfully straddled Western and Indian sensibilities in her work. After a failed attempt at abortion, she passed away at the age of twenty-eight on December 5, 1941, only a few days before the opening of her major show in Lahore (then a part of undivided India).