M.F. Husain, fondly called the ‘Picasso of India’, is regarded as one of the best artists of India. This best-known artist of India died of a heart attack at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London at 2:30 am local time on Thursday. He was 96. Family sources informed PTI that he had been keeping in indifferent health for over a month.
President Pratibha Patil said his death "left a void in the world of art." Calling it ‘a national loss’, Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime minister of India, expresses his grief on death of Husain. The dearth theaters and legal cases over paintings have left M. F. Husain so upset that in recent years, artists and activists had lamented his inability to live in India.
Husain had left India way back in 2006. Besides London, he was also offered the citizenship of Qatar which he had readily accepted and hence divided his time between London and Qatar homes. Back in India, the activities and artists criticized the Indian Government for failing to take stringent actions to bring Mr. Husain back in India.
Right-wing groups continued to wreck exhibitions that displayed Husain’s work after Mr. Husain moved abroad. Mr. Husain repetitively articulated a longing to return to India. "My heart will always be in India...it is my beloved land," he said in an interview to NDTV in March last year. "I never felt I was betrayed," he said of India, stressing that he was proud of India's democracy.”
He was among the earliest Indian painters to command huge prices at international auctions. Considering Madhuri Dixit, an Indian Bollywood actress, his muse he has often directed films also. In 1967, Husain's first film, Through the Eyes of a Painter, won a ‘Golden Bear’ at the Berlin Film Festival.
Her fascination for Madhuri was an impetus to make ‘Gaja Gamini’ (a Bollywood Film) with her. In addition to this, Madhuri was also the subject of his paintings which he titled ‘Fida’. Besides, he also made a film with Tabu, titled Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities.
Honored with the prestigious awards of Padma Shree, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan, Mr. Husain's ‘Battle of Ganga and Jamuna: Mahabharata 12’, fetched USD 1.6 million in 2008, setting a world record at Christie's South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art sale.
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