Maqbool Fida Husain (better known as M.F. Husain) is the most internationally recognized Indian artist of the 20th century. Often called ‘Picasso of India’, Husain was born in 1913 in Maharashtra, and passed away in London in 2011 at the age of 97.
Husain was largely self-taught, earning money in his youth by painting movie billboards in Mumbai. He began his career as a Fine Artist in the 1940s, and was invited to join the Progressive Artist’s Group because of his interest in re-inventing conventional academic techniques.
Husain’s name is synonymous with modern Indian art, for no single artist has popularised Indian art, within the country or internationally, as Husain has done. His endless quest for his cultural roots and a fearlessly open-minded willingness to absorb diverse influences has made him one of the most recognisable figures of modern Indian art.
A graduate of the J.J. School of Art, Husain’s paintings focused on a wide range of topics and people, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Mahabharata and Ramayana etc. He has depicted horses in many of his works. Husain’s works are part of the collections of some of the most well-known art collectors in both India and abroad. He has been awarded the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India.