Maqbool Fida Husain or MF Husain is better known for defining modern Indian painting and creating a special place for Indian art in the global platform. Most of his works feature bold and vibrant colors executed in a modified Cubist style.
Popularly referred to as the ‘Picasso of India’, Husain was also a prolific photographer and filmmaker. He had won several national awards for his amazing works of art. The painter breathed his last on June 9, 2011, at the age of 95. He died of a heart attack.
Today, on the anniversary of his death, here are some lesser-known facts about him:
- Husain was born to Fida Husain and Zaineb in the temple city of Pandharpur, Maharashtra, but he lost his mother when he was 2 years old.
- His father remarried and moved to Indore, where Hussain received his early education.
- Later he was sent to Siddhpur in Gujarat where he started writing poetry.
- His first painting guru was NS Bendre, whom he met at the Indore School of Art. However, he dropped out of his diploma training in between and moved to Bombay.
- To earn a living, Husain became an assistant to Bhide, who was then the most famous film collector painter. He worked for him for 5 years.
- Husain was a big fan of Madhuri Dixit and is known for watching Hum Aapke Hain Koun more than 50 times. He was even reported for booking an entire theater in Dubai to watch Madhuri’s Aaja Nachle.
- Husain became the highest paid painter in India when one of his canvases fetched up to $2 million at Christie’s auctions.
- Husain won an award for his paintings at the Bombay Art Society’s annual exhibition in 1947. He also received two of India’s highest civilian awards, Padma Bhusan in 1973 and Padma Vibhushan in 1991.
- Many of Husain’s paintings were based on British rule, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Mahabharata and Ramayana.
- He spent the last five years of his life in self-imposed exile.
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