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MF Hussain's Controversial Nude Paintings

Anamika S Jain is a Social Media Consultant who handles the FaceBook, Twitter and Blog of a top Bollywood Actress.

M F Hussain controversial Paintings of Hindu Gods and Goddesses

Maqbool Fida Husain, popularly known as M F Hussein, was one of the most popular Indian Artists who got noticed more because of his nude paintings of Hindu Gods and obsession for certain Bollywood Actresses like Madhuri Dixit than for his talent. This Painter was born in the year 1915 in a village in Maharashtra in a Muslim Family. Forbes magazine referred this Artist as the "Picasso of India" and M F Hussains Paintings are worth crores of Rupees. He was in fact one of the highest paid Painters of India.

He attracted a lot of controversy and wrath after painting the nude images of Hindu Deities, especially from the Shiv Sena and Hindus. He was accused of hurting the sentiments of those who belong to Hindu Religion. Another popular controversy was the Painting of Nude Bharat Mata which hurt the sentiments of majority of Indians. This Painting was opposed by Organizations like Vishva Hindu Parishad and Hindu Jagruti Samiti . M F Hussains film Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities also attracted controversy and was pulled out of movie theaters a day after some Muslim organizations like All India Muslim Council and Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Hind argued that one of the songs in the film contained words directly taken from the Holy Quran. The Kerala Government's announcement to award M F Husain with the prestigious Raja Ravi Varma award also led to a lot of controversy. A series of cases were brought against Hussain following the controversies and he was even issued a non-bailable warrant after he failed to respond to summons from the Court. He also received death threats. The opposition from Indian Public and Government resulted in the artist moving out of India and set his base in Dubai and London.

M F Husain and his Controversial Nude Paintings of Hindu Goddesses

M F Husain and his Controversial Nude Paintings of Hindu Goddesses

Maqbool Fida Husain Biography

Husain had a humble beginning and started his Career by painting Film Hoardings. M F Hussain started being recognized as an artist after the 1940s. He received the prestigious Padma Shree Award from the Government of India in 1955. His first film Through the Eyes of a Painter made in 1967 received recognition at the Berlin Film Festival. M. F. Husain was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1973 and was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1986.He also was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1991.

M F Hussain made several Bollywood films. His Bollywood disasters include Mohabbat in the year 1997 starring Akshay Khanna and Maduri Dixit, Gaja Gamini in the year 2000 starring Nasuruddin Shah, Maduri Dixit and Sharukh Khan , Meenaxi : The Tale Of 3 Cities in the year 2004 starring Tabu and Kunal Kapoor. His autobiography was also made into a movie titled The Making of the Painter starring Shreyas Talpade. He had several muses in Bollywood including Madhuri Dixit, Amrita Rao (whom he was obsessed with ever since he has seen the Movie Vivah), Anushka Sharma, Katrina Kaif, Tabu, Urmila Matondkar and Vidya Balan. There were some news reports saying that he wanted Vidya Balan to pose nude for a Painting. However, his wish did not materialize.

M F Hussain breathed his last at the London’s Royal Brompton hospital in London on June 9, 2011 at the age of 95 at 2.30 am local time.

M F Husain Paintings of Naked Hindu Gods and Goddesses


EnlightenedWoman on October 29, 2012:

Pathetic How these Hindu Extremists are hating such an amazing artist.

rahul prasad on May 14, 2012:

mf husian his real artist in world very good

mohit kumar on May 06, 2012:

those trying to hurt the hindu sentiments wont be left

khurshid on April 12, 2012:

we in india can pray and worship 'siva-llinga'(by the way,isn't it the genitals of Lord Shiva?),then what's wrong in hussain's painting?

Have not our hindu god Lord Kamdeva once tried to seduce a king's wife?i think yes..then what's wrong in hussain's paintings?

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Did not Lord Krishna watched the gopis taking bath in rivers n stole their clothes?nw that's definitely yes...then what's wrong in hussain's paintings?

By definition of indian constitution,that done by Lord Kamdeva is termed as adultery and that done by Lord Krishna is fetishism...n both are included under the term


Now can some religious hindu friends explain these?if these are ok with the gods then why it is not ok with a human...why is hussain pervert and not the gods??????

khurshid on April 12, 2012:

in art its the painting that is important n nt the painter's religion....wat if the same paintings were drawn by a hindu painter?then no1 wud hv complained....that's a fact in our country...the ancient hindu scluptures are full of 'kama' sort of things....why??nude figures are evrywhere in those ancient buildings n temples....why don't we break them then if nudity is so embarrasing to us....its the ancient scluptures n scriptures that made hussain dare to paint such things.and I dnt think such nude mythology exists in any other in my opinion hussain's paintings are pure work of art n nt any religious sort of things.

biswa sheba on February 05, 2012:

I want to ask every body a question .if nudity is sign of purity according to M F hussain ..........den He should draw a nude picture of ISLAM....becoz it is the religion of is possible becoz he had drawn a nude picture of INDIA....

@jyoti our religion never told that nudity is sign of purity.If u give me a prove that OUR religion told this ...........I will upload a nude pic of mine and give the address in this thing never refer any islamic site becoz they are biased .frst read all the vedas .and all the puranas............and never give me reference frm manusmriti ........becoz that scripture is changed mostly frm the islamic period in India According to swami vivekaanand ...............don't worry I have read all vedas

GD on January 30, 2012:

That is art which touch everybodies heart.if it does not touch ,simply it is an action,.this is hurting a group of people so i can say it is purely pagalpaan.

Tapas Kumar Biswas on January 27, 2012:

Rubbish , it is not a art , fully rubbish .

jk on January 23, 2012:

yeah , i know he is a good painter. but i want to see nude paint of his mother.i know he can't do this because he never want to show his mother's nude painting huh. a lot of crazy peoples in the world. not like him.

amit on January 21, 2012:

MF is not a picasso. Why he made paintings specifically on hindus God. Why he not made such non sense things on his religion because he know what will happen if he will do that. He is not a good painter for me and for all Hindus.

Tariq zaman on January 12, 2012:

HI, I respect M. F. Hussain sahib and I think a painnter is independent in expressing his view, if we comment his work, First we have to see his all work and his passion toward his country and his dedicated work. Some people comment on him to get popularity but they donot ever thought "If they split toward sky, there split drop on there face itself.

shaikh on January 01, 2012:

I think he was a non-muslim!beause in Islam you can't draw a nude painting whosoever it may be.He not only believed in those very false godesses or gods but has drawn their nude pictures as Islamic belivers believe in only one God.He has drawn these nude paintings because he had no knowledge about his own faith or religion(Islam).He who has no knowledege about his religion(Islam),we call him a non-muslim or disbeliever.

Phil on December 21, 2011:

Does your God teach you to Hate? Does your religion teach you intolerance? Does it teach you not to question it's validity? The intolerance of religions around the world is half the reason why the world has such wars. I say lets have freedom of expression. If that expression was invalid then it wouldn't get all this attention would it.

KAJAL on December 21, 2011:


sunny on December 13, 2011:

those who r in favour of M F Hussain.... first love and respect our Nation and religion then respect M F Hussain

mukta on December 09, 2011:

@NILESH i totally agree with u. no dbt M.F.Hussain was a great painter. But y only paintings of hindu gods were naked??? y not of muslims nd his mother nd daughter? nd yes firsly we r indians, hindus nd after dat we shud think abt d painter. art does not mean partiality.

sagar bharti on November 30, 2011:

actually mostly hindus don't know i ask lot off sanatan dharam rushi munees they say so many things final conculsion is that hindu in hindu dharm nudity and sex is common and this not sin like khajaraho temple

i can show lot off temple in lotoff nudity. kali das wrote complete sex movements of shankar and parvati

and more more we can give examples . last example shifaly zariwala (kaanta laga) perform in front of all sadhu's they also dance i think you people knows

satish bhardwaj on November 03, 2011:

he was not an artist he was a mantle seek person on the other hand he was infected with sexual fantasy. we should make separate such type of persons and give them proper rehabilitation practice

prakash on September 28, 2011:

what MF hussain has shown in his painting is the fact of

india. we hindus talk about our culture, but when our

daughter, weres a short t shirt and half neckor, we don't

remember our culture and tradetions that time. women was goodess of our country, but our godess itself wants to expose her body on the rodes, theaters, clubs. ect.

what Hussain did is wonderful work.

S.Z. Husain Zaidi on September 18, 2011:


Before we should read one soore fateha for his peace.

I think M.F.HUSSAIN is a good artist who is genious is shown his painting beautifully but it is too bad on his past to show the hindu gods naked.

He always got inspired to paint India God mother India, but he never painted nude his own mother or daughter.

I will do always expect of m.f.hussain because he was a good painter in the world. He was a better than other person. Peoples was against his because he was a muslim.

I wants to say of every person that they live with an other and no quarre each other.


Aspi Kootar on September 05, 2011:

What a pity that the scum-bag artist is dead

I personally would have loved to castrate him

Jim IV on September 01, 2011:

No Indian doubts the talent of Hussain, but there is similarly little doubt that he resorted to mischief to be sensational. He perhaps felt, like many others, insulting the Hindu symbols of divinity would earn him nothing more than perhaps some drawing room condemnation. He had miscalculated. He was nothing different from the iconoclast Aurengzeb. He deserved to be driven out of India.

NILESH on August 25, 2011:

You all guys who favour M F Hussain.... first love and respect our Nation and religion then respect M F Hussain

NILESH on August 25, 2011:

If Mr. Hussain really wanted to show his talent by hurting INDIAN culture and creating controversy then why he had never been caught in a controversy for his own religion? Mr. peacenlove (Art lover) pls answer this question

sameer on August 11, 2011:

This a beautiful painting & your think is very well.

peacenlove on July 04, 2011:

i totally agree with Jyoti and Nikhil Kumar Jain.

art knows no boundary and definitely no religion.

ask yourself, is this what a religion asks of you?hatred for each other ,cruelty to others.

centuries have always witnessed it, man condemn those who works for their benefits, who break those lines that divides us.

religion is nothing but that line(that people think).

try to read and know about the teachings of the religion before making absurd comments.

M F Hussain was a great artist,may he rest in peace, and he touched our hearts with his purity.

those who try to fiddle on the things like religion and nudity are impure in their hearts, making absurd things out of nothing.

all the temples depicits that full pure images of our hindu deities.

and if you are so much taken aback the work of an artist..i say don't look at their work..

try to avoid such sites and sit in homes with your filth, don't bring it here...these kind of sites is for the art lovers, who know the meaning of ART.

artlover on June 11, 2011:

can somebody name me the piece of Mr. hussian's work at 3:25. It is immaculate! absolutely stunning. This man was a visionary.

Prashant on June 10, 2011:

Why Hussein did not draw any nude pictures from the characters of his belief of religion and only to Hindu religion? He really touched setiments of Hindu religion and you can not justify this. To get you through the real feelings behind this, just imagine if it was your mother or sister then you will know it. Goddess are mother to Hindus and the feelings should be justified. Art should be used to unite all the human being not to spread any hatred towards others. A cartoon appeared in Danish newspaper about their prophet Nabi has created number of controversies and the same way you should know to respect other belief.

p1 on June 09, 2011:

Alas he is dead.

Indian on June 08, 2011:

@jyothi... dnt talk like a fool.... the prob with india is that v r too much concerned abt minorities!! so "ll support even if minorities hurt hindu's feelings!!! if he wud have painted some other country naked (like he did with bharath matha) he wud be no mre!!!

raji on March 27, 2011:

i think mf hussain is a good artist who is genius in showing his paintings beautifully but it is too bad on his part to show the hindu gods naked.i think it will be better if he concentrates on better topics to prove his talent like say global warming,poverty,natural calamities.

artman on January 20, 2011:

Did Hussain ever sign his paintings with only the letters

M F ?

Jayesh on January 17, 2011:

he may be the picasso of india but he chose the wrong subjects and hurt the sentiments of its people.

he should have tried using islam instead and islamic countries then perhaps the reactions from his own will open his eyes........You can give the tools of painting to monkeys and elephants in a zoo and they may even do better than him. its no loss to india and its people.

Dr.S.P.PADMA PRASAD from Tumkur on January 10, 2011:

We can appreciate Hussain for his skill in drawing 'talking lines'.But we can't accept his interpretation of Hindu tradition. After seeing how he has drawn Hindu gods, I feel Hindu activists are justified in their anger towords him.

minal sujan on January 07, 2011:

Art without freedom of expression, is like breathing withou air. To evolve we need to, if not understand but at least acknowledge M F Hussian. Anyway no relgion can be tainted by anybody but by our minds.

Anmika great job

Shiv patal on December 24, 2010:

I totally agree with you people don't think about what is right or wrong they just follow if the path someone set for them. Do u realize what u losing by losing a artist like m. F. Hussain. If you say you don't care that means u no nothing about art all you think of hating others for some or the other reason. Because you mind is created with hate not love.

Nikhil Kumar Singh on October 10, 2010:

Art is meant to spark questions in the mind of those willing to accept the fluidity of reality. I'm glad M.F. Hussain isn't in India. A country full of closed minded people does not deserve an artist of his calibre. A sizable portion of Indian art has always depicted women in the nude. All those opposed to his paintings have no clue about art, let alone the richness of Indian traditional art. Most of our beautiful temples have got sculptures of naked women and sexual acts too. Are you gonna mow them down?

If you think Hussain's exile is the right way to go about it - you’re part of the close-minded fools who've destroyed a beautiful country's rich culture, just because they feel too ashamed to tell their young ones where babies come from.

If any other there think that nudity in art is grotesque and appalling, you're gonna have to destroy loads of Indian temples to prove your point.

Art is not meant to please religious or political leaders. It's independent of them. Don't be part of the gullible flock that's too lazy to figure things out for themselves. They usually turn to corrupt religious and political leaders for answers to questions that they should answer themselves. Think for yourself and stop fuelling highly corrupt and baseless religious institutions.

True Hinduism - or any religion for that matter - is simple. If you want to understand its basis, please read through the religious texts yourself AND UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU READ BASED ON YOUR LIFE EXPERIENCES. Don't rely on what's told to you, because people twist the meaning of things to meet their own needs always.

Please think for yourself people.

anuhyareddy on July 15, 2010:

ART to me is something which emerges out and finds its wings of expression under the conditions of absolute and total freedom of thought and lets for gods' sake not exaggerate things and make everything a matter of controversy and lets not invite a situation for ourselves wherein the emerging generation of artists in india find it difficult to survive in here ......

@Jyoti on April 26, 2010:


I think you are nonsense, I will ask MF Hussain to draw your and your mother's naked painting.

I don't care how much knowledge he has about Indian culture.

People should not humiliate other beliefs. If he did with other religion he must be killed by now.

Indian always have lot of patience Don't teach us how we should comment on his painting. If you think you are right go and support Hussain in UAE

indian alien on March 19, 2010:

It is a disgrace that MF Hussain is given Raja Ravi Varma award. He depicted all the goddesses of the hindu pantheon including our patriotic Bharath Matha in a naked and grotesque manner while Raja Ravi Varma portrayed even her damsels like the goddess of wisdom. He should be considered as a disgrace to humanity and India rather than treated as one of the navaratnas of India.

Jyoti on November 11, 2009:

MF Hussain is a creative genius. The controversies that are associated with him have no logical basis. The reason I say is this. The series of paintaings that he made of nude deities were done in the 60s, however, the controversies began over 25 years later when the paintings came out in a book. It then suddenly spread like forest fire. Most people who make such comments against him neither know much about his body of work nor about art in general, and in fact little about religion. His body of work is immense. Even before gaining fame as an artist, MF Hussain did a series on the Ramayana (a hindu epic) with thousands of canvases on the subject. His understanding of hinduism is vast. His works on the Mahabharata (another hindu epic) are thought provoking and beautiful. He has knowledge of the scriptures. Other than that his work includes many other styles and he has painted in western and islamic styles also. No mention is ever made of any of these paintings. He has painted on national issues and public figures- again no mention of any of this work is made. The only paintings that are spoken about are the ones that can be used to create controversies. In the world of art nudity is considered a strong statement- it is a powerful expression that can convey a spctrum of things at once, and has never been considered "evil". Hussain is being persecuted for something that is commonplace in the world of art. In Hinduism, only the most pious deities could be depicted in the nude- it was considered a sign of purity and as father or mother figures, only the few greatest deities could be depicted in this pure form. In is neither uncommon nor looked down upon in our religion. Still there are some who demand that the propphets of islam then be portrayed similarly as well, which makes no sense... what is characteristic of our religion is not characteristic of islam- so it would make no sense to do that... despite this Hussain has appologised for sentiments that may have been hurt, but the persecution continues. There is a sort of reactionary fundamentalism that is becoming acceptable among the hindus propogated by policial parties that is very disturbing. An artist of Hussain's calibre is forced to live in exile outside his country, and that is very sad indeed. All I ask is that people not base their verdicts on merely what is fed to them, but take time to find out the truth for themselves before submitting to such hatred. Hussain is not only a painter, he is also a poet, a calligraher, a photographer, an author and a film-maker. I only hope we will realise his worth soon and not squander away our national treasure for something as terrible as hatred.

Dale Seaton on May 17, 2009:

Very interesting. This Artist reminds me of Mexican, contemporary, Painters. Very free to express. Gracias

samthekool on May 14, 2009:

where is this bloody son of bitch now a days?

he must be hanged in open for so called paintings?

Anamika S Jain (author) from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India on May 07, 2009:

Well, Thanks for visiting Tiger. You may be right and everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion.

Tiger on March 17, 2009:

Goons from Tihar jail are better painters than this fake picasso of India! Check out the paints from the goons of Tihar, u will know they make better paintings and more meaningful than this controversial ass.

Anamika S Jain (author) from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India on October 07, 2008:

Thanks for your suggestion and response Paraaglider.

Dave McClure from Worcester, UK on October 07, 2008:

I would like to see bigger images of his work. The style reminds me of Andre Fougeron, French socialist artist. Thanks for the new name :)

Anamika S Jain (author) from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India on October 03, 2008:

Thanks a lot for the response.

ramasethu2001 from Chennai,Tamil Nadu,India on October 03, 2008:

Great Information On A Great Painter!!!

Anamika S Jain (author) from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India on October 03, 2008:

Thanks a lot, Barin. I guess you would understand him better as you are an Artist yourself.

Barin Mehta from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, INDIA on October 03, 2008:

Controversy, conflict and commitement to the painting; all are still with him! You have tried your best to provide the details, Anamika!

Anamika S Jain (author) from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India on October 03, 2008:

Thanks CountryWoman. Yes. M F Hussain is known as The Piccasso of India among other things. Personally, I too feel freedom of expression is a fundamental right, but it should not be at the cost of others sentiments.

countrywomen from Washington, USA on October 03, 2008:

Nice info. I never knew he was called picaso of india.

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