Friday, June 10, 2011

‘India’s Picasso’ Husain passes away in London

Maqbool Fida Husain, India’s best known painter, died in London on Thursday aged 95, a close friend of the artist told Reuters, five years after he left his homeland after being persecuted by Hindu fanatics angry at his work.

“He died of old age. It happened early this morning,” said Munna Zaveri, who had befriended Husain for 40 years, before leaving for London. “He was in hospital for some time and was supposed to come home today or tomorrow but his condition worsened.”

Dubbed the “Picasso of India,” Husain’s work was a blend of cubism and classical Indian styles that helped put modern Indian art on the global arena. His canvasses sold for millions of dollars.

His depictions of naked Hindu deities enraged Hindus who attacked his house, vandalized shows displaying his work and drove him to flee India. For years, galleries were too frightened of protests to display his work.

In 2006, he moved from Mumbai to Dubai, later London, and in 2010 accepted Qatari citizenship, a step that led to much soul-searching in India over whether the world’s largest democracy could guarantee artistic freedoms.ReadMore

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