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MF Husain Birth Anniversary: Lesser-known Facts About the 'Picasso of India'

·2-min read

One of the most enigmatic and internationally recognised Indian artists, Maqbool Fida Husain is also known as M. F. Husain. Born on September 17, 1915, Husain depicted human circumstances in bold and vibrant colours and executed diverse topics in series. Popularly dubbed as the ‘Picasso of India’, he treated his canvases in a modified Cubist style. Husain was also a prolific photographer and filmmaker. He had won several national awards for his amazing artworks.

On his birth anniversary, here are some interesting facts about him:

1. Husain was born to Fida Husain and Zaineb in the temple town of Pandharpur, Maharashtra, however, he lost his mother when he was 2 years old.

2. His father remarried and moved to Indore where Hussain did his early schooling.

3. He was later sent to Siddhpur in Gujarat where he started writing poetry.

4. His first painting guru was N.S. Bendre whom he met in the Indore School of Art. However, he left his diploma course in between and moved to Bombay.

5. To earn his livelihood, Husain became an assistant to Bhide 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 for watching Hum Aapke Hain Koun more than 50 times. He was even reported for booking an entire theatre in Dubai to watch Madhuri’s Aaja Nachle.

7. Husain became the highest-paid painter in India as one of his canvases have fetched up to $2 million at Christie’s auctions.

8. Husain won an award for his paintings at the annual exhibition of the Bombay art society in 1947. He was also awarded two of the highest civilian award of India, Padma Bhusan in 1973 and Padma Vibhushan in 1991.

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

10. He spent the last five years of his life in self-imposed exile.

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