M.F. Husain History, Life Facts, Controversies & Death

The controversial and yet extremely famous artist M.F. Husain has died at a London hospital of a heart attack. M.F. Husain was 95, died of a heart attack. He breathed his last in Royal Brompton hospital in the presence of his son and daughter. Following are some of the facts about M F Hussain's life, his history and details of the various controversies he was involved in.
M.F. Hussain Facts, History, Controversies
  • M.F. Husain paintings made waves and stirred controversies across the globe
  • M.F. Husain started out in life as a painter of movie billboards
  • Hussain rose to become India's most celebrated artist with many of his works commanding prices of millions of dollars.
  • In the mid 1990s Hussain angered a section of Hindu community by painting the nude images of Hindu goddesses Durga and Saraswati. 
  • Hussain got embroiled in a major controversy in the 1990s when a Hindi magazine published an article about his paintings of Hindu deities done in the 1970s. 
  • Several complaints were filed against him in different parts of India, alleging that his paintings had hurt the feelings of Hindus. Exhibitions of his works were vandalised by mobs at some places.
  • Hussain had been living in self-imposed exile in Dubai and London since 2006 after coming under attack from fundamentalists at home for his paintings of Hindu deities and never returned to India again. 
  • In January 2010, he even accepted the citizenship of Qatar. 
  • M.F. Husain was one of the most celebrated painters in the world and his paintings put Indian art on the world map. 
  • M.F. Hussain was born on September 17, 1915 in Pandharpur in Maharashtra 
  • M.F. Husain first became well-known as an artist in the late 1940s. 
  • In 1947, M.F. Husain joined the Progressive Artists' Group, founded by Francis Newton Souza. This was a group of young artists who wished to break with the nationalist traditions established by the Bengal school of art and to encourage an Indian avant-garde, engaged at an international level. 
  • In 1952, M.F. Husain's first solo exhibition was held at Z├╝rich and over the next few years, his work was widely seen in Europe and the US. 
  • The Government honoured him with the Padma Shri in 1955, the Padma Bhushan in 1973 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1991. He was nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha in 1986.
  • He was nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha in 1986.
  • He was even described by Forbes magazine as the “Picasso of India”. 
  • He was doubtlessly the highest earning painter of India, with one painting of his even fetching $2 million at a Christie’s auction. 
  • Three of Husain paintings recently topped a Bonham's auction here, going under the hammer for Rs2.32 crore with an untitled oil work in which the legendary artist combined his iconic subject matters -- horse and woman -- fetching Rs1.23 crore alone.
  • In 1967, he made his first film, Through the Eyes of a Painter, which was shown at the Berlin Film Festival and won a Golden Bear.
  • He later made Gaja Gamini, with actress Madhuri Dixit. The actress was described as his muse and was intended to be his tribute to her. He also made Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities with Tabu.
  •  M F Hussain painted the canvases of Madhuri Dixit, his muse for a long time, Tabu and Amrita Rao. 
Controversial Work by M.F. Hussain: Worst Controversies he was involved in
  • Bharat Mata: Tagged as Husain’s most controversial painting, ‘Bharat Mata’ was anything but a painting, it depicted Mother India as a naked woman, in an exposed position with the names of Indian States on various parts of her bare body. The painting, when release for auction created quite a flutter in the country, for it was slammed for hurting the sentiments of Indians, who revere ‘Bharat Mata’. Also, it showed one of her hands (claimed to be North Kashmir) chopped off or blurred to some extent. This particular work infuriated a certain section of the society to this extent that Husain’s exhibition was vandalized and his public image went for a toss, followed by him taking a refuge in UAE, for he thought India was not safe for him anymore.
  • Rape of India: As heavy as its name, Husain’s ‘Rape of India’ that was dedicated to Mumbai blasts, post the terrorist attacks on the city, caused much furore, for it, to some,  represented India as a woman being raped, with an animal straddling her and of a man pulling her blouse away.  This piece of art was taken to be nothing but a solid scorn on Husain’s part.
  • Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities: His directorial debut had to be pulled out of theatres as some Muslim organisations objected to one of a qawwali song ‘Noor-un-Ala-Noor’, which they thought to be profane . The All-India Ulema Council had argued that the song included words which were directly lifted from the Quran.
  • Madhuri Fida Husain: Known to be a charmer, who’s enchanted many women with his demure words, leave alone his beautiful paintings, Husain was famous for the muses he kept and the most talked about was his camaraderie with Indian actor, Madhuri Dixit, whom he’d cast in ‘Gajagamini’ . So much was his fondness for the actor and her acting credentials that the media had tagged him as ‘Madhuri Fida Husain’. His fondness for Bollywood actors continued post Madhuri's marriage and the other actors who got an opportunity to be his muse were- Tabu, Amrita Rao and Anushka Sharma, with the latter being the last one to professionally associate with Husain.