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Biographical Data :

Name :Maqbool Fida Hussain
Period :1915 - 2011
Biographical detail : Superstar of Indian art forced into exile by the controversy his work aroused.

Forced out by threats from Hindu groups enraged by his paintings of nude gods and goddesses M F Husain was living in self-imposed exile in Dubai and London.

It was a little-known 1970 work of nude Hindu goddesses that, when published fifteen years later in a magazine created a storm. His painting of a nude Hindu goddess, Saraswati, became the target of protests in 1996 despite invocations of the rich precedents of nudity in Indiaís art history and religious iconography. Rightwing Hindus attacked his home and burned down his galleries.

Faultlessly secular and a great promoter of Indian identity, Indiaís highest paid painter, M F Husain left India in 2006. Phenomenal were the prices of his paintings at international auctions and the energy with which the artist, in his 90s, travelled all over the world.

He was bestowed Qatari nationality by the emirateís royal family without applying for it, according to media report. Obtaining Qatari nationality could mean that Husain renounced his Indian passport, because New Delhi does not allow dual citizenship.

M F Husain rose from a humble wall-post-painter for cinema to a celebrated avant-garde painter and filmmaker. The painter was tremendously prolific and said to have created about 30,000 to 40,000 works of art.

Husainís paintings of the Ramayana and Mahabharata are well known. He engaged, it is said, a pundit to recite the epic to him before painting it in 1968. He painted goddesses according to the temple traditions.

Activists disrupted auctions of Husainís work and, in 2006, a hardliner Hindu outfit offered an $11.5m reward for his death

In 2007, the Indian capital hosted its first major exhibition of Husainís work for nearly 20 years, which was disrupted by activists of the right-wing Hindu political party Shiv Sena.

His career started from Bombay where he came, in 1937, looking for opportunity to fame. In 1956, his paintings were exhibited in the art galleries of Prague and Zurich.

Awards such as the Padma Shri (1955), Padma Bhushan (1973) and Padma Vibhushan (1991) cemented M F Husainís status. Abroad he received, in 1967, the ĎGolden Bearí, the highest award for a painter, at the International Film Festival in Berlin.

He wrote his autobiography M F Husain Ki Kahani Apni Zubani in Urdu.

Born in Pandharpur, Maharashtra in a humble family and grew up with a limited formal education in Indore, M F Husain loved horses and fast cars. A kurta-clad Bohemian, Maqbool Fida Husain never wore shoes and carried a cane that doubled as a paintbrush. He passed away in London.
 (Compiler : M. Nauman Khan / Ghulam Mohiuddin)


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