Signed 'Husain' (upper right)
Acquired directly from the artist
Artiana / Sale 1701 / Lot 60 / South Asian Art - Classical, Modern and Contemporary / Dubai / 23 - 27 March 2017
Private collection, Dubai
Painted for the first time in 1980, the Mother Teresa series has frequently resurfaced, and in varied mediums, in Husain’s repertoire. Its distinctness and accessibility has earned the series significant interest and popularity.
Often shown as a faceless figure, the woman in this series is not limited to the historicity of her theme; she manifests distinct points in a spectrum that includes, for instance, the general notions of motherhood, the Virgin Mary and perhaps even Husain’s own mother who passed away in his early boyhood. Variations in medium aside, a faceless woman, draped in a white sari with a dark blue border, often in the company of children, is a common refrain in the series.
“I have tried to capture in my paintings what her presence meant to the destitute and the dying, the light and hope she brought by mere inquiry, by putting her hand over a child abandoned in the street. I did not cry at this encounter. I returned with so much strength and sadness that it continues to ferment within." (Artist statement, Y. Dalmia, The Making of Modern Indian Art: The Progressives, New York, 2001, p. 116)