Adieu Master…

The “Picasso of India”, Maqbool Fida Husain passed away last week. Here is my tribute to the great master…

“A dashing, highly eccentric figure who dressed in impeccably tailored suits, he went barefoot and brandished an extra-long paintbrush as a slim cane. He never maintained a studio but he spread his canvases out on the floor of whatever hotel room he happened to be staying in and paying for damages when he checked out. He created four museums to showcase his work and had a collection of classic sports cars. Enormously prolific, a gifted self-promoter and hard bargainer, he claimed to have produced some 60,000 paintings.

He applied the formal lessons of European modernists like C├ęzanne and Matisse to scenes from national epics like the Mahabharata, Ramayana and to the Hindu pantheon” – So says wikipedia…

I had the good fortune of seeing him in flesh and blood once and I must say that I will cherish that memory all my life. He was 90 plus at that time and was as fit as any 30 year old. He could draw a horse in one stroke. Leaving aside all nonsensical controversies, the only thing I can tell you is that a painter needs at least half a century’s effort to draw horses like that….

He never stopped at one thing. He also received recognition as a printmaker, photographer and filmmaker.

The good thing is, no one will ever remember those politically motivated hooligans who ransacked his artworks many times. But his art will live amongst us forever. A true painter is never supposed to be understood by the mortal herd anyway.

R.I.P. dear Master! We will miss you.

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