Signed 'Husain' (upper right)
Further signed, titled and dated 'Husain / "Lady with Blue Tiger" / P.1 005' (on the reverse)
Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi
Saffronart / Lot 48 / Autumn Auction 2011 / 21-22 September 2011 / India
Private collection, Dubai
From the beginning, M.F. Husain had been responsive to the force of symbolization. He masterfully utilize magical signs, masks and rely on the capacity of metaphors to reflect the ambiguities of reality. In his canvases, coexistence of man, seasons and animals are not on a mundane nor realistic level. He employs the associative power of colors and drew freely on animals and inanimate motif to suggest emotions.
In this canvas, Husain depicted a reclining lady holding a quill as if to write in the lotus leaf. Referencing his painting,"That Obscure Object of Desire", the lady is paired with a large blue tiger prancing behind her in a show of strength and ferocity; a huge black sun looming behind it. The tiger symbolizing male desire leers at the female. Rendered in a juxtaposing manner, both figures have an erotic quality to it. Notable is Husain's depiction of the titular lady, which is similar to his depiction of some of his famous horses; she is rendered with incomplete limbs.
Husain incorporate animal forms to represent nature and embody their emotional, literary and mythical associations. The characters of his metaphors, the tiger in this case, is not the subject of the painting, but the inspiring principle that it depicts. Much like a fable, he includes animal form to reflect and enhance the mood of the human character as in this painting. Husain successfully created a visual poetry that has its own rhythm, its own symbolism, and its own sensuous and abstract connotations in his composition.