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Lot Details

Signed 'Husain' (centre left)

Acquired directly from the artist
Private collection, Singapore

In his extensive travels around India between 1948 and 56, Hussain developed an intimate understanding of the Basohli style of Indian miniature painting. A frequent refrain in this style is the romance between the hero and heroine, with particular reference to Radha and Krishna. ‘The nayaka-nayika (hero and heroine) theme - often portrayed in the guise of Radha and her divine lover Krishna - was the Basohli painter’s favourite subject; on pictorial composition of eloquent lyricism, he made his theme quick with emotion […] (Richard Bartholomew and Shiv S. Kapur, Husain, Harry N. Abram, New York, 1971, p. 38)

Husain has marshaalled this theme and combined it with his strong inclination towards rasa, the aesthetic content of an emotion in artistic works and performances. The rasa conveyed through the visual of Radha and Krishna is sringara, or sensual devotion. True to the character of sringara, Hussain has brought out the lyrical quality of romance. The painting is rich in movement with the flutter of the white angavastra, against the evening sky.

Maqbool Fida Husain

(1915 - 2011)
Born in Pandharpur, Maharashtra, in 1915, Husain moved to Mumbai in 1937 where he sustained himself by painting cinema hoardings and designing furniture and toys. A self-taught artist, Husain was invited to join the Progressive Artists Group in 1947 by F.N. Souza after his first public exhibition of paintings. Most recently, his work has been featured in solo shows including ‘M.F. Husain: Early Masterpieces 1950s-1970s at the David Winton Bell Gallery, Providence in 2010; ‘Epic India’ at the peabody Essex Museum, Salem, in 2006-07; and ‘Early Masterpieces 1950-70s, at Asia House Gallery, London, in 2006. Husain was nominated to the Rajya Sabha, India’s Upper House of Parliament in 1986-92, during which he pictorially recorded its events, which were then published in 1994. The Government of India awarded him with a Padma Shri in 1966, a Padma Bhushan in 1973 and Padma Vibhushan in 1991, all high civilian honours. In 1971, Husain was invited to exhibit as a special invitee with Pablo Picasso at the Sao Paulo Biennale, Brazil. In 2004, he was awarded the Lalit Kala Ratna by the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi. Husian passed away in London in 2011.