Signed, dated and inscribed 'Husain / Peking / Oct 1952' (lower right)
Cannes Encheres / Lot 525 / Modern and Contemporary Art / Cannes, France / October 2018
Private collection, Singapore
Before his painting journey led him to be the most famous master of Modern Indian Art, Maqbool Fida Husain (1915 - 2011) started his career generally autodidactic. He portrayed subjects and themes available to him at the time and developed a visual language uniquely his own. His fascination with horses started at a young age, as he used to observe his grandfather and family friends work with horses and listen to many different legends about them. It will be a familiar theme in his repertoire and one he repeated throughout his prolific career.
Husain travelled extensively in the 1950s, starting with his first travel overseas to China. Titled The Two Chinese, the current lot reflects this trip on October 1952 to Peking as a member of the Communist Delegation at the World Peace Congress. Significantly, it is also one of the first Husain works that veered off his thematic vocabulary. During this time, Chinese philosophies and painting techniques greatly inspired him, influencing his style and altering his portrayal of the equine forms subsequently.
Indeed, his visit to China solidified the majestic horse he has become most known for galloping, rearing, and tossing its hind legs and manes. Horses represent his spirit and are one of his signature motifs. With each stroke and painted gesture, his energy can be felt, from life to canvas and then to print.