Frieze London 2015 was an exciting time for Stellar International Art Foundation with its showcase of the “Maria” series by Maqbool Fida Husain to a select audience.
M.F. Husain was one India’s most eminent artists. Born in Pandharpur his early years were spent in Indore. Husain began his career as a painter of cinema hoardings after attending art school in Bombay. Using freehand drawing and vibrant colours, he depicted Indian subject matters in the style of Contemporary European Art Movement, particularly Cubism.
In 1956, Husain arrived in Prague for an exhibition. Not yet fluent in English, let alone Czech, he was assigned a translator, Maria Jaroslav Zurkova, they were bonded by love of philosophy, religion, and art – but sadly neither spirit could settle out of their own country and their love affair ended after eight years. Husain gifted Maria, the woman he termed the ‘purest’ love of his life, with a large number of his drawings and paintings during these years.
These were returned unbidden to him in 2006 by Maria, who is said to have renounced all claim to them, instead returning them to their rightful owner: India.