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Details & Cataloguing

Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art including Indian Miniature Paintings

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London

Maqbool Fida Husain
(1915 - 2011)
ISLAM

Signed, dated and inscribed  'Husain/'92/LONDON' lower right and inscribed with a Punjabi poem by Baba Farid on reverse along the lower stretcher bar


Acrylic on canvas
198.1 by 353 cm. (78 by 139 in.)
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Provenance

Acquired directly from the artist by the current owner

Catalogue Note

Influenced by his past as a billboard painter and preoccupied with the notions of theosophy and religion, Husain created an impressive ten panel series of works titled 'Theorama'. Painted in the early 90s, these imposing canvases celebrated ten different faiths, highlighting the cogent and meaningful aspects of each religion but ultimately symbolising unity. Executed on a monumental scale, 'Islam' is a masterful depiction of Husain's Muslim faith.

On the left, is an image of a Sufi saint with his finger of 'Kalema e Shahadah' raised. The black cube of the Kaabah with the Arabic alphabet 'Kaaf' lies in the centre, literally and figuratively alluding to the prominence of the structure. Next to the Kaabah is a circle depicting the dome of The Prophet's mosque in Madinah with the Arabic alphabet 'Meem'. Flying across the sky on the right, is an image of 'Al-buraq', the lightning horse, while an Islamic metaphor of scientific temper is depicted by the splitting of the moon -'Al-Shaqqul Qamar'. On the right is the Judgement Day book of records known as 'Al-Loh-al-Mehfooz'.

Through the careful use of line and colour, as well as the religious motifs and metaphors, this work is a simple yet significant homage to Islam. 

Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art including Indian Miniature Paintings

|
London