Husain has long been fascinated by epic figures whether mythological or historical and he displays a special reverence for Mahatma Gandhi as an Indian figurehead, as seen in his slightly later 1972 depiction of Gandhi from the Herwitz Collection at the Peabody Essex Museum. According to S. Bean, 'In his drive to create an Indian contemporary art, M.F. Husain has become a master of myth, not only portraying deities and episodes from the Mahabharata and Ramayana, but in projecting historical figures into the transcendent realm of the mythic. His "Gandhi", for example, shows his subject larger than life, wearing his signature loincloth and holding his staff, but with a featureless haloed visage that conveys no individual identity. In this painting we are looking at a person, a saint, a demigod who has surpassed history, whose significance is timeless...His "Mother Teresa" series similarly uses her distinctive habit and her hands to effect a transformation of the historical to the mythic, the mortal to the eternal.' (S. Bean, 'Now, Then, Beyond: Time in India's Contemporary Art,' Contemporary Indian Art: Other Realities, Marg, Mumbai, 2002, p. 48).