Tag Archives: indian painter

Eminent painter Maqbool Fida Husain passes away in London

9 Jun

Legendary Indian painter Maqbool Fida Husain, popularly known as ‘Picasso of India’ who earned both fame and wrath for his paintings, died here today at a hospital following a month-long illness.He was 95.

Husain breathed his last at 2.30 am local time (0700 IST) at the Royal Brompton Hospital where he was admitted after being in “indifferent health” for the last one and a half months, family sources said.

It was not immediately clear whether the artist, who was once a member of Rajya Sabha and had been decorated with the nation’s second highest award Padma Vibhushan, had any wish regarding his last rites.

The family sources said funeral arrangements for the celebrated painter are yet to be finalised.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has condoled the death of M F Husain. In his condolence message, Singh termed Husain’s demise as a “national loss”.

His six-decade career began in the late 1940s when he joined the Progressive Artists’ Group founded by Francis Newton Souza. These group of young artists aimed to disengage from the idyllic nationalist traditions of the Bengal school of art to imbue in their works a more avant-garde approach.

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.

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