Art Dubai 2016 was the perfect platform for the Foundation to exhibit M.F. Husain’s stunning “Mughal-E-Azam” Series. The show took place at the Capital Club, at the heart of Dubai’s Financial Centre with over 30 paintings which were previously unseen in the Middle East and rarely exhibited elsewhere.
Mughal-E-Azam, is an epic Bollywood film depicting the doomed love story of Prince Salim and his beloved Anarkali. Husain was drawn to the tale’s tragic dimensions that were no less catastrophic than Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. He created a series of paintings inspired by the film as well as the grandeur of Mughal rule in India.
The Mughals were patrons of art and architecture and invested in legendary jewels and objects of art. Their extravagant tiger hunts, their trysts with dancing girls and their elaborate battles which helped them win India, were all captured by Husain with great care. His amusing references to Hinduism, demonstrate how Mughal rule was not at the expense of, but beneficial to the development of native ideas that originated with the rich culture of the land.
These monumental paintings – mixes of oil and acrylic, using white overlays and golden strokes encapsulate the sun as if from the palaces of the great Mughals themselves. Capturing stories of great literature, poetry, and even the spirit of the horse – an image Husain adopted from a Chinese artist whose horses infused the canvas with a masculine virility and fire. A fire that the artist himself carried until his last days.