MF Husain Birth Anniversary: Lesser-known Facts About the Picasso of India

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Painting maestro MF Husain attracted a lot of controversy, yet is one of the best painters India has ever had. Born on September 17, 1915, Husain passed away due to a heart attack on June 9, 2011. Popularly known as the 'Picasso of India', Husain expressed his ideas and concepts on canvas with sheer elegance. He put together themes from mythology and Indian ethnicity to create his artwork.

On his 104th birth anniversary, here are some unknown facts one should know about one of the most well-known Indian painters.

1. Born as Maqbool Fida Husain, he never attended any school in his early days to learn painting. As a child, he learnt the art of calligraphy and loved to read poetry.

2. His mother died when he was one-and-a-half years old. His father remarried and moved to Indore, where Husain went to school.

3. In his early days in Mumbai, Husain used to paint movie posters to earn money. He also worked at a toy factory, where he designed and built fretwork toys.

4. Eventually, he went on to become the highest paid painter in India. His single canvases have fetched up to $2 million at Christie's auctions. It was in 1947 when Husain won an award for his paintings at the annual exhibition of the Bombay art society.

5. In 1973, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the Padma Vibhushan in 1991 and finally was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1986.

6. In February 2006, Husain was charged with hurting sentiments of people because of his nude portraits of Hindu gods and goddesses. He apologized on February 7, 2006, and promised to withdraw the painting from an auction.

7. After the controversy, Husain left India and shuttled between Dubai and London.

8. He again became news in November 2007, when he booked the entire Lamcy Cinema in Dubai for the afternoon show of Madhuri Dixit's comeback film Aaja Nachle. He was known to be a great admirer of the Bollywood actress.

9. Actress Amrita Rao served as his muse as well. On her birthday, Husain gifted her three of his paintings, whose estimate was worth Rs. 1 crore.

10. Husain has made films like Through the Eyes of a Painter and Gajagamini. The latter was intended as a tribute to Madhuri.

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