At 93 years of age, MF Husain could have been forgiven for calling it a day. But when he sought exile from India in 2006 — on account of the vandalisation of his works and the stress of presenting himself in small-town courts all over India, where cases of obscenity had been filed to harass him for having had the temerity to paint goddesses in the nude — he sought not retirement but revalidation. And that came easily for, arguably, India’s most popular artist. In spite of his advanced age, the royal family of Qatar commissioned him to paint an epic series on the Arabic civilisation for the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha. And in London, the Mittal family — which had gifted the city the controversial ArcelorMittal Orbit ahead of the Olympic Games —s eized the opportunity to ask him to paint a tribute to Indian civilisation.
Read more: MF Husain’s ‘Last’ Works