Celebrated Indian artist M.F. Husain, who earned both fame and wrath for his paintings, died here today after being unwell for over a month. He was 95.
Popularly known as MF and regarded as ‘Picasso of India’, the artist breathed his last at the Royal Brompton Hospital at 2.30 am local time.
Husain had been keeping ‘indifferent health’ for the last one-and-a-half month, family sources said.
They said that funeral arrangements are yet to be finalised.
Born in Pandharpur in Maharashtra on September 17, 1915, Husain courted controversy over his paintings of Hindu goddesses.
His paintings on goddesses Durga and Saraswati invited the wrath of Hindu groups which attacked his house in 1998 and vandalised his art works.
In February 2006, Husain was charged with hurting sentiments of people because of his nude portraits of Hindu gods and goddesses.
In the wake of legal challenges and death threats in his home country, Husain had been living abroad in self-imposed exile since 2006 and was offered Qatari citizenship in January 2010, which he accepted.
As he had not responded to summons from an Indian district court in Haridwar, his properties in India were attached as per court orders and a bailable warrant was issued against him by the court.
Though Husain had been saying that he was keen to return to India, his wish had remained unfulfilled.
Three of Husain paintings recently topped a Bonham’s auction here, going under the hammer for Rs 2.32 crore with an untitled oil work in which the legendary artist combined his iconic subject matters – horse and woman – fetching Rs 1.23 crore alone.(IANS)