Signed in Hindi and Urdu (lower right)
Further signed in Urdu, dated and inscribed 'To Kamal & Pasha 14 June 1971' (on the reverse)
Bearing partial label of Gallery Gita. (on the reverse)
Gallery Gita, New Delhi
Christie's / Sale # 2686 / Lot 78 / South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art / New York / March 2013
M.F Husian’s repertoire undoubtedly shows that the artist holds a deep appreciation for the classical arts and traditions of India. The cross-disciplinary facets of music, dance, painting, sculpture and film have left a significant mark in his approach to art. This aspect is evident in Husain’s aesthetic through the Wedding Chariot, where three-dimensional sculptures have been transformed into two-dimensional surface-figures. The figures are pronounced and their postures have been clearly borrowed from the classical tribhanga stance.
From his travels across India, Husain was inspired to express, through his works, the diverse stories and artistic traditions of the subcontinent. The golden yellow in this painting, is reminiscent of the turmeric that abounds every Indian wedding. Forms are structured on flat surfaces and minimal use of colour is harmonious. The viewer feels the movement and exuberance of the wedding procession. Conceptually and in their modelling, the figures emanate lyricism.
“To be liberated from the shackles of academic realism and to be able to experiment with the plasticity of form with only the canvas as the frame was a revolutionary step. All the more for Maqbool Fida Husain, who has his early training in representational art. In moving from accurate depictions of reality to the unending possibilities opened up by the painterly image was akin to leaping across several centuries. And in doing so, he was to become a legend in his lifetime [...] He was, at the same time, involved with language, with the formulation of modernity and with its rootedness in India.” (Yashodhara Dalmia, The Making of Modern Indian Art: The Progressives, Oxford, New Delhi, 2001, p. 100)