Remembering the ‘Picasso of India’

Updated: Jun 09, 2012, 11:20 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Today is Indian’s eminent artist M.F. Hussain’s death anniversary. Though the painter is no more, the mark he made in his field of work will be remembered for centuries to come.

Born on 17 September 1915 in Pandharpur in Maharashtra to a Sulaymani Bohra family as Maqbool Fida Hussain, he was mainly a self-taught artist. He came to Mumbai around the age of 20 and during those days he earned money painting cinema hoardings, landscapes and factory toys.

He enrolled himself to study in Mumbai popular J.J. School of Arts and rose to fame during the 1940s for his artworks. In 1967, he made his first film tilted ‘Through the Eyes of a Painter’. It was shown at the Berlin Film Festival and won a Golden Bear (Short Film).

M. F. 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.

Around that time, he was the highest paid painter in India, though a hard bargainer by nature. In his entire career as a prolific painter, he made 60,000 paintings.

Hussain’s fondness for Bollywood actresses like Madhuri Dixit, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma came out in the form of their beautiful paintings which Hussain painted as an ode to their beauty. He even made a film with Madhuri names ‘Gajagamini’ which tanked at the box office.

He received a lot of flak nationwide for his artworks depicting Hindu deities in their nude forms which was taken in bad light. As a result, he was asked to leave the nation for good. Till he breathed his last, he stayed in the UK and bid goodbye to this world at the Royal Brompton Hospital.