Lesser Known Facts about the ‘Picasso of India’

One of the most enigmatic and internationally recognized Indian artists, Maqbool Fida Husain is also known as MF Husain. Born September 17, 1915, Husain portrayed human circumstances with vivid, vibrant colors and performed various subjects in series. Popularly nicknamed the “Picasso of India”, he treated his paintings in a modified cubist style. Husain was also a prolific photographer and filmmaker. He had won several national awards for his amazing works of art.

On the occasion of his birthday, here are some interesting facts about him:

1. Husain was born to Fida Husain and Zaineb in the temple city of Pandharpur, Maharashtra, however, he lost his mother at the age of 2.

2. His father remarried and moved to Indore where Hussain did his first years of studies.

3. He was then sent to Siddhpur in Gujarat where he began to write poetry.

4. His first painting guru was NS Bendre whom he met at the Indore art school. However, he quit his degree course in between and moved to Bombay.

5. For a living, Husain became Bhide’s assistant who was then the most renowned cinema hoarding painter. He worked for him for 5 years.

6. Husain was a huge fan of Madhuri Dixit and is known to have watched Hum Aapke Hain Koun over 50 times. He has even been reported to have booked an entire theater in Dubai to watch Madhuri’s Aaja Nachle.

7. Husain became India’s highest paid painter, with one of his paintings fetching up to $ 2 million at Christie’s auction.

8. 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 honors, Padma Bhusan in 1973 and Padma Vibhushan in 1991.

9. Many of Husain’s paintings were based on British rule, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Mahabharata and Ramayana.

10. He spent the last five years of his life in voluntary exile.

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