Top Famous Paintings by M.F. Husain


Maqbool Fida Husain, popularly known as M.F. Husain and Picasso of India, was an iconic Indian artist whose work left an indelible mark on the art world. His extraordinary talent and unique artistic style garnered international recognition, making him one of India’s most celebrated painters. In this article, we will explore the life and artistic journey of M.F. Husain, delve into his famous paintings, analyze his distinctive style, and touch upon the controversies surrounding his illustrious career.

Top Famous Paintings by M.F. Husain

Early Life and Artistic Journey

Born on September 17, 1915, in Pandharpur, Maharashtra, India, M.F. Husain displayed a prodigious talent for art from a young age. Despite facing financial constraints, he pursued his passion for painting and moved to Mumbai, where he initially worked as a billboard painter. Husain’s dedication and artistic prowess soon caught the attention of art enthusiasts and critics alike, leading to his enrollment at the prestigious Sir J.J. School of Art.

During his early years, Husain experimented with various styles and subjects. Influenced by cubism, expressionism, and Indian folk art, he developed a unique artistic language that blended diverse influences. His paintings reflected everyday life, mythology, social issues, and Indian history, capturing the essence of the nation’s cultural diversity.

M.F. Husain best paintings and some of the most famous top paintings by M.F. Husain

1. “The Battle between Ganga and Jamuna: Mahabharata Series” (1971)

 This monumental series comprising 45 paintings depicts the epic tale of the Mahabharata. Through vibrant colors and dynamic compositions, Husain portrays the ancient mythological characters with a contemporary flair, delving into their moral conflicts and human emotions.

"The Battle between Ganga and Jamuna: Mahabharata Series" (1971)
“The Battle between Ganga and Jamuna: Mahabharata Series” (1971)

2. “Mother Teresa” (1989)

"Mother Teresa" (1989)
“Mother Teresa” (1989)

Husain’s depiction of Mother Teresa pays homage to her selfless service to humanity. The painting captures her compassion and dedication, portraying her against a backdrop of impoverished surroundings. It stands as a tribute to the icon’s remarkable humanitarian work.

3. “The Horse Series”

"The Horse Series"
“The Horse Series”

M.F. Husain’s horse paintings are among his most iconic and recognizable works. These vibrant and dynamic compositions symbolize power, grace, and freedom. His fascination with horses stemmed from their symbolic significance in Indian mythology and their representation of strength and vitality.

4. “Gaja Gamini” (1996)

"Gaja Gamini" (1996)
“Gaja Gamini” (1996)

Created as a tribute to the renowned Indian actress Madhuri Dixit, “Gaja Gamini” is a visual exploration of femininity and beauty. Husain’s dynamic brushwork and vivid colors capture the essence of Dixit’s charisma and grace, celebrating her presence as a timeless muse.

5. “Bharat Mata” (2005)

"Bharat Mata" (2005)
“Bharat Mata” (2005)

“Bharat Mata” portrays India as a mother figure, embodying the spirit and cultural heritage of the nation. Husain’s vibrant portrayal of a woman draped in the tricolor flag evokes a sense of patriotism and deep pride in one’s motherland.

Which is the best painting of M. F. Hussain?

Determining the “best” painting by M.F. Husain is subjective, as his artistic brilliance shines through a multitude of masterpieces. Each painting showcases his unique style, bold use of color, and captivating storytelling.

However, one painting that stands out as an iconic representation of Husain’s talent is “The Battle of Ganga and Jamuna: Mahabharata 12.” Part of his famous Mahabharata series, this artwork depicts the epic battle between the two rivers with vivid colors and dynamic brushwork. The painting’s sheer scale, intricate detailing, and profound storytelling make it a masterpiece that exemplifies Husain’s skill and artistic vision.

As for the question of which painting was made by M.F. Husain, the artist produced a vast number of artworks throughout his prolific career. His oeuvre includes diverse subjects such as horses, Indian mythology, social issues, and contemporary figures. From his horse paintings to portraits of iconic personalities like Mother Teresa and Madhuri Dixit, each artwork bears the signature style and unique touch of M.F. Husain.

Recognized as the Picasso of India, M.F. Husain earned this title due to his immense impact on the Indian art scene and his ability to revolutionize artistic conventions. Like Pablo Picasso, Husain pushed the boundaries of artistic expression and experimented with various styles and techniques. His bold and innovative approach to art, combined with his immense talent, established him as a prominent figure in the art world.

In conclusion, determining the best painting by M.F. Husain is a matter of personal preference, as his vast collection of artworks encompasses a range of themes and styles. However, “The Battle of Ganga and Jamuna: Mahabharata 12” stands as the best masterpiece among all his works. M.F. Husain’s artistic prowess and his title as the Picasso of India solidify his status as one of India’s most revered and influential artists.

Factors Influencing Value

Several factors contribute to the high prices of M.F. Husain’s paintings. Firstly, his artistic reputation and status as one of India’s most prominent artists play a significant role. His contributions to the Indian art scene, along with his international recognition, increase the desirability of his works.

The rarity and availability of the paintings also impact their value. Husain’s limited edition or one-of-a-kind pieces tend to command higher prices due to their exclusivity. Additionally, the size, complexity, and level of detail in the artwork can influence its value, as larger and more intricate pieces often require more time and skill to create.

Furthermore, the provenance and historical significance of a painting can significantly impact its value. If a painting has a notable ownership history or was created during a significant period in the artist’s career, it may fetch a higher price at auctions or private sales.

Unique Artistic Style and Influences

M.F. Husain’s distinctive style seamlessly blended elements of cubism with Indian folk art traditions. His bold use of color, dynamic brushwork, and fluid lines contributed to the energetic and expressive nature of his paintings. Husain’s deep-rooted fascination with Indian culture, mythology, and socio-political issues greatly influenced his choice of subjects, creating a unique narrative in his art.

Controversies and Criticism

Despite his immense talent and artistic contributions, M.F. Husain’s career was marred by controversies and criticism, particularly in his later years. Some of Husain’s paintings and depictions of the Hindu goddesses in modern contexts, such as in the film “Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities” (2004), sparked protests and legal challenges. These controversies ultimately forced Husain into self-imposed exile, living in various countries.

Death and Legacy

M.F. Husain passed away on June 9, 2011, in London, leaving behind a rich artistic legacy. His contributions to the art world continue to be celebrated and admired by enthusiasts globally. His paintings command high prices in the art market, reflecting their significance and lasting impact. Though controversial, Husain’s artistic vision and relentless pursuit of self-expression established him as a trailblazer in the Indian art scene.


M.F. Husain’s artistic journey and his famous paintings have left an indelible imprint on the art world. From the grandeur of his Mahabharata series to his vibrant horse paintings, each artwork reflects his innovative vision, mastery of form, and commitment to storytelling. Despite the controversies that surrounded him, Husain’s contributions to Indian art cannot be undermined. His unique artistic style and iconic paintings continue to inspire and captivate audiences, ensuring that his legacy as a visionary artist lives on.

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