Art Detail | Ilham Gallery
Self Portrait of M.F. Husain
Self Portrait of M.F. Husain

Watercolour on paper
69.5 x 55.4 cm
Credit Line:
Collection of ILHAM Foundation
© M.F. Husain
About M.F. Husain

M.F. Husain (1915-2011, India) was an Indian painter best known for his brightly colored works depicting horses, urban landscapes, the Bollywood star Madhuri Dixit, and Hindu goddesses. Employing a style based in Cubism, his irreverent subject matters pushed the limits of censorship in India. “I think you don't do work for controversy alone, and whenever you do new work which people don't understand and they say it is done to create controversy,” he once said. Born Maqbool Fida Husain on September 17, 1915 in Pandharpuer, India, to a secular Muslim family, he studied calligraphy before moving to Mumbai where he worked painting cinema posters and designing toys. In 1953, Husain went to Europe for the first time where he saw the works of Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, and Henri Matisse. Husain was forced to go into exile in 2006, due to the several lawsuits filed against him by the Indian government for his defamation of Hindu culture. For the remainder of his life he spent much of his time between Qatar and the United Kingdom. Husain died on June 9, 2011 in London, United Kingdom. Today, his works are in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Modern Art in Mumbai, and the National Museum of Islamic Art in Doha among others.