The Surya Collection: Property from Mrs. Ute Rettberg

, ,
Open: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm

34-35 New Bond Street, W1A 2AA, London, UK
Open: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm


The Surya Collection: Property from Mrs. Ute Rettberg


The Surya Collection: Property from Mrs. Ute Rettberg
Auction: Thu 26 May - Tue 31 May 2022
Exhibition: - Tue 31 May 2022
Mon-Fri 10am-5pm


This May, Sotheby’s is honoured to be offering works from the remarkable collection of Mrs. Ute Rettberg of Surya Galerie, Germany. The gallery opened in 1973, in Mrs. Rettberg’s home of Freinsheim, near Frankfurt, and was the first of its kind in Europe – a gallery selling up-and-coming contemporary Indian artists.


Surya Galerie began through a collaboration between Mrs. Rettberg and Kekoo Gandhy, the founder of the pioneering Chemould Gallery, Bombay. Mrs. Rettberg, one of the first women in the German diplomatic service, lived in Bombay during the mid-1960s, while working at the German Consulate General. Attracted to the vibrant colours of Indian contemporary art, and inspired to support talented young artists, she began to acquire works to decorate her and her husband’s new home in Juhu Beach.


Following the Rettbergs’ return to Germany, Kekoo Gandhy sent Ute an array of works to show in her newly-founded Surya Galerie. This arrangement lasted for two years, after which Ute worked directly with the artists of her choice. She formed close friendships with many of these artists, such as K. K. Hebbar, Devayani and Kanwal Krishna, Satish Panchal and Surya Prakash, some of whom would stay with her in Freinsheim for months at a time, showing their works in solo and group shows at the gallery.


Mrs. Rettberg ran Surya Galerie for almost a decade, during which time she held over fifty shows. The fresh, colourful and diverse works she offered aroused great interest in Germany and further afield, and played an important role in the expansion of the Indian art market abroad. Mrs. Rettberg herself acquired an astonishing personal collection of modern Indian paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture, which she has lived with for almost fifty years.


For assistance with bidding and registration, please contact:

(+44) 207 293 5283 (bids general line)


For sale enquiries please contact:


Ishrat Kanga

Director, Specialist

Head of Sale, London

+44 20 7293 6603



Frances Belsham


+44 207 293 5940



Alison Millar

Post-Sale Manager

+44 207 293 5231



all images © the gallery and the artist(s)

Selected Lots

more to explore:


By using you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience. Close