Maqbool Fida Husain
(, , <!--Note putting the Urdu after the Hindi makes things with the date following DMY infomration wonky.-->) (17 September 1915 – 9 June 2011) commonly known as MF
, was an eminent painter of Indian origin, although a Qatari national at the time of his death. He has been widely regarded as the "Picasso
of India" and has influenced a whole generation of artists in the country.
Husain was associated with Indian modernism in the 1940s. A dashing, highly eccentric figure who dressed in impeccably tailored suits, he went barefoot and brandished an extra-long paintbrush as a slim cane. He never maintained a studio but he spread his canvases out on the floor of whatever hotel room he happened to be staying in and paying for damages when he checked out. He created four museums to showcase his work and had a collection of classic sports cars. Enormously prolific, a gifted self-promoter and hard bargainer, he claimed to have produced some 60,000 paintings, when questioned about such prolificity by Michael Peschardt
of the BBC in one of the last interviews he gave on May 27th, 2011, he replied that "All this talk about inspiration and moment is nonsense. Excuse us". He amassed a fortune but maintained a bank balance of zero. He applied the formal lessons of European modernists like Cézanne
to scenes from national epics like the Mahabharata
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