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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Renowned artist MF Husain dead


TSI TEAM/PTI | New Delhi, June 9, 2011 12:53
Tags : M F Hussain | Maqbool | Fida | Husain | renowned painter | artist | 95 |

Legendary Indian painter Maqbool Fida Husain - popularly described as 'Picasso of India' - whose paintings earned him both fame and wrath - died here on Thursday at a hospital following over a month-long illness. Husain was 95.

Husain breathed his last at 2.30 am local time at the Royal Brompton Hospital where he was admitted after being in "indifferent health" for the last one-and-a-half month, family sources said. It was not immediately clear whether the artist, who was once a member of Rajya Sabha and had been decorated with nation's second highest award Padma Vibhushan, had any wish regarding his last rites.

The painter, whose works fetched astronomical sums at the recent Bonham's auctions - the highest for any Indian artist, was living in self-exile since 2006 following a series of legal cases and death threats against him over his paintings depicting Hindu goddesses in nude.

He accepted Qatari citizenship in 2010 after surrendering his Indian passport and till the last was reticent on whether he would return to his homeland. Born in Pandharpur in Maharashtra on September 17, 1915, Husain courted controversy over his paintings of Hindu goddesses.

His paintings on goddesses Durga and Saraswati invited the wrath of Hindu groups which attacked his house in 1998 and vandalised his art works.

In February 2006, Husain was charged with hurting sentiments of people because of his nude portraits of Hindu gods and goddesses. In the wake of legal challenges and death threats in his home country, Husain had been living abroad in self-imposed exile since 2006.

As he had not responded to summons from an Indian district court in Haridwar, his properties in India were attached as per court orders and a bailable warrant was issued against him by the court. Three of Husain paintings recently topped a Bonham's auction here, going under the hammer for Rs 2.32 crore with an untitled oil work in which the legendary artist combined his iconic subject matters - horse and woman - fetching Rs 1.23 crore alone.

In 1952, Husain's first solo exhibition was held at Z├╝rich and over the next few years, his work was widely seen in Europe and the US.

In 1955, he was awarded the prestigious Padma Shree. In 1967, he made his first film, Through the Eyes of a Painter. It was shown at the Berlin Film Festival and won a Golden Bear.

Husain was a special invitee along with Pablo Picasso at the Sao Paulo Biennial in 1971. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1973 and was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1986. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1991. Between 1990 and 2011 Husain went on to become the highest paid painter in India.

He also produced and directed a few movies, including Gaja Gamini with his muse Madhuri Dixit who was the subject of a series of his paintings which he signed as Fida.

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017