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Lot Details

Signed and dated 'Husain 002' (upper left)

Saffronart / Lot 67 / Spring Auction / Modern and Contemporary Indian Art / 11 - 12 March 2009
Acquired from the above by the present owner

Relentlessly paying obeisance to early Indian art, M.F. Husain incorporated local traditions and characteristics into his style, presentation, and themes. He plied various sources and presented subjects he deemed representative of the Indian culture and heritage in his canvases; from dancers, sculptures, to images of the great epics and literature.

Depicting the creative interaction between different art forms, Husain initiated his series on musicians as early as 1959 and revisited the theme throughout the rest of his career. In them, he adopted traditional postures from sculptures for his figures to convey a sense of dance and movement while depicting traditional instruments to express a sense of music on his canvases, as seen here.

Using his distinct pictorial language, he depicted the lady featurelessly to evoke a sense of universality by focusing on the representational more than individualizing details of the face. Asserting his own brand of symbolism, the titular lady is seen holding a veena and a mudra in her right hand while wearing a white sari, alluding to the Goddess Saraswati who bestowed the gift of music to humanity in the Hindu faith.

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.