Modern and Contemporary Art from India
February 25, 2011 through September 4, 2011, San Jose Museum of Art
UNTITLED from the “Ramayana” series, 1978
Acrylic on canvas
60 x 90 inches
Private collection, Woodside, California
Photo: Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi
Maqbool Fida Husain
Born 1915, Pundharpur, Maharashtra
Died 2011 in London
One of India's most famous painters, Maqbool Fida Husain fuses the expressionist brushwork of European Modernism with themes inspired by Indian mythology and animal symbolism. In this painting, Hanuman — the character of a monkey from the ancient epic Ramayana (ca. fifth century BCE) — sweeps in from the right carrying a gemstone for the central blue figure, Sita, who is revered for her chastity and virtue. Husain broke from tradition by depicting Sita nude — an example of the way he reinterprets Indian epics.