In fact, barefoot artist M F Hussain is perhaps the most well-known Indian painter across the world. His works are in demand even after his passing away.
Maqbool Fida Hussain was born in Pandharpur locality of Mumbai on this day, September 17, in 1915. In the childhood his mother died and his father remained and the family moved to Indore. However, Hussain returned to Mumbai to join J J School of Art.
From painting Hindu goddesses to Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit, Hussain has received bouquets and brickbats for his neo cuboid style. Although much appreciated, his work has occasionally sparked controversy and tragically forced him to spend his last few years in exile and away from home. MF Hussain started making movie posters while he was studying.
Hussain's father, an accountant had wanted him to get into business as against his propensity towards painting.
He made his first oil painting while sitting at the shop. His uncle got very angry when he saw this and told his (M F Hussain) father. However, the father hugged his son on seeing his work.
His father encouraged him and said, "Son, go and fill your life with colours.” With these words of encouragement from his father, Hussain started his professional career.
In 1934, his first painting was sold on the roadside for ten rupees. He never looked back.
MF Hussain used horses as a means of expression in his art. The 'horse' is a symbol of masculinity, strength, agility and loyalty. This horse became the identity of Hussain's thought and art.
Th use of horses gave Hussain’s work identity. Horses talking to the wind and uncontrollable horses, galloping horses and horses running in a herd.
Interestingly, when his love for horses changed to feminine beauty, actor Madhuri Dixit was her muse. In one of his paintings, Hussain depicted Madhuri riding on the back of a horse.
He had become an addict of the feminine face as symbolized by Bollywood actor Madhuri Dixit; made many paintings her.
Madhuri appreciated his spirit of loyalty and even accepted his expression of love for her Where could a world-class lover like F. Hussain used to say. "Most people are ignorant about the language of painting. You know that they are ignorant. It is very difficult to inform them, but time will teach them.”
MF Hussain was always a huge fan of film actress Sri Devi. However, when for the first time at 1994 Filmfare Awards, he was made to announce the name of the best actress for the award and he expected it would be Sri Devi, it turned out Madhuri Dixit. Except for a faint idea of her popular Dhak, dhak…number he had no idea about this actor.
Interestingly, Hussain hadn’t seen a single movie.
Once at the Filmfare award ceremony he was to name the best actress of the year afor the award. He opened the envelope, stood still for some time before finally reading out the name of Madhuri Dixit
Hussain had never seen this actress. He had hoped it would be his favourite Sri Devi.
He saw Madhuri Dixit for the first time amidst applause and that's how a plutonic love story between an artist and his muse started.
Thereafter MF Hussain used his brushes to paint dozens of pictures of Madhuri Dixit, and in most of these 'Madhuri was faceless.
MF Hussain writes “In the beginning, a journalist asked Madhuri what drums she was playing. In every painting, there is only Madhuri, where is she? The face is missing, any woman can be in the pictures.”
So Madhuri replied --- "Hussain ji is not recognizing me but celebrating my existence."
FM Hussain writes in his autobiography that after making the film 'Gaj Gamani' on Madhuri, he was awakened by the 'popular artist' inside him.