Sign In

Lot Details

Signed and dated 'Husain 1990' (upper left)

Titled in the artist's handwriting in a book cataloging the owner's collection of M.F. Husain's works.

Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner
(The paintings of the present owner were catalogued by the artist in a book, a copy of the page illustrating the painting and title from this book accompanies the lot.)

M.F Husain’s repertoire is rich in its depiction of Hindu deities. Of these, the artist gives Ganesha, the elephant-headed God, a prominent place. Ganesha, who is the patron of the arts and sciences, is worshipped at the beginning of any endeavor as he is considered the remover of obstacles and the god of beginnings.

Although there had always been some contention regarding the artist's depiction of Hindu deities, his identity as an artist was Indian through and through. This is apparent in his prodigious canvases, an all-encompassing Indian identity depicting the many faces of Indian culture, from the sacred to the mundane. Here, Husain's masterful use of lines lends dynamism and energy to the picture. The deity was defined using bold lines with bright jeweled colors - a testament to the artist's skill as a draughtsman and a colorist.

‘In negotiating the iconic, Husain has re-invested it with a mythic aura, restoring its original function. [...] In ancient epics, the gods stood for immanent energies and were always symbolically represented, imbued as they were with a universal significance. Husain, under modernism, empowered them with a symbolic presence while contextualizing them in the contemporary, thereby layering their form with multiple meanings.’ (Y. Dalmia, The Making of Modern Indian Art: The Progressives, New York, 2001, p. 114)

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.