Painting was life and soul of M. F. Hussain. He was abundantly blessed with art which is one of the best gifts of God. He created paintings that spoke for themselves. It is said that during his tenure as a painter, he painted about 60, 000 paintings on subjects like Mother Teresa, Mohandas K. Gandhi, the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, the British Raj and motifs of Indian rural and urban life. He was a passionate fan of the Bollywood Diva Madhuri Dixit. At the Christie's auction lately, his single canvases obtained up to $2 million. He fashioned some masterpieces, to remember for a lifetime. His scrutiny was such that he could represent circumstances even with a pencil sketch. He is considered to be an individual who amalgamated ethnic with mythological themes to bring out radiant and incredible art form. Achievements of M.F. Hussain are many. The account below sings about his commendable works.
M. F. Hussain was born on September 17, 1915 in Pandharpur, Maharashtra. He was from a Muslim family. When he was just one and a half years of age, he lost his mother. His father remarried and moved to Indore. M.F. Hussain has his schooling there. He was the most celebrated and highest paid contemporary artist of India. He was addressed as the ‘Picasso of India’ by Forbes magazine.
Husain married Mehmoodabibi's daughter, Fazila on 11th March, 1941 in the presence of his father and a few close friends. His wife was a steady support and motivation who encouraged him to be firm in his values.
In the year 1935 M F Hussain went to Mumbai. There he studied at the Sir J. J. School of Art. To start with, he painted cinema hoardings. In 1947 he joined the Progressive Artists' Group. This group was founded by Francis Newton Souza. This group guided young artists who wanted to give confidence to an Indian avant-garde occupied with international level; when it was moving away from so-called nationalist traditions rooted firmly in the Bengal school of art. In 1952 at Zurich his first individual exhibition was held. Since then, his work has been extensively exhibited in US and Europe.
An individual exhibition from 2006-2007 was held at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), USA, Massachusetts having his paintings that were inspired by Mahabharata. Hussain’s huge diptych was sold at Christie's South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art sale for $1.6 million in early part of 2008. The diptych was from the Hindu epic ‘Battle of Ganga and Jamuna: Mahabharata 12’. This set a world record. His other commendable works include Mother India and illustrations from Mahabharata and Ramayana.
M. F Hussain not only fashioned tasteful paintings but he produced and directed a good number of films also. His first film was released in 1967 titled ‘Through the Eyes of a Painter’. This movie won a Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. His other films include Gaja Gamini (with Madhuri Dixit) and ‘Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities (with Tabu).
Works and creations of M. F. Hussain deserved laurels and awards. He received copious honors and awards including Padma Shree (1955), Padma Shree (1966), Padma Bhushan (1973), Padma Vibhushan (1991) and Raja Ravi Varma award by the government of Kerala when he was 92 years old. In 1986 he was nominated to the Rajya Sabha. He also had the honor to have his name in the list of '500 Most Influential Muslims in the World', which was released by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center, Amman, Jordan.
Achievements of M. F. Hussain bring credit and honor to his superb and paramount art works. M. F. Hussain passed away of a heart attack in London after being in poor health for over a month, On June 9, 2011, he breathed his last at the Royal Brompton Hospital. Thus, the tenure of a genius and Picasso of India met an end. His body was kept at Idara-e-Jaaferiya which is a funeral parlor at Tooting for the public to pay respect to the celebrated painter. On June 10, 2011, he was buried at the city's outskirts, at the Brookwood Cemetery at Woking in Surrey. Though, he is no more among is but his art works and exquisite paintings have made him immortal.