• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2025

    South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art

    16 September 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 199

    Maqbool Fida Husain (b. 1915)


    Price Realised  


    Maqbool Fida Husain (b. 1915)
    signed in Hindi (lower right); titled, signed, dated and numbered '"Masks" Husain 1964 NY.7' (on the reverse)
    oil on canvas
    47¾ x 20 in. (121.2 x 50.8 cm.)
    Painted in 1964

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    Highly textured and painted with jeweled tones and thick layers of impasto, Husain's Masks is a tour de force demonstrating the artist's mastery of line and composition during one of his most vital and creative peaks. The multi-faceted cubist style coupled with Husain's time-honored themes celebrating rural life as the essence of India, showcases Masks as an exemplary yet intimate example of Indian Modernism.


    Gift from the artist to Aley and Marianne Hasan and thence by descent.

    Aley Hasan befriended Maqbool Fida Husain in India. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Hasan and his wife Marianne hosted Husain on a few occasions at their house in Ham, Richmond Surrey. Hasan's daughters recall, "We all remember Husain as a tall, slim bearded gentleman with a quiet demeanor. Although we were children, we were nevertheless intrigued by the artist, who unlike most men at that time, wore a black suede suit with bare feet and carried a brown leather shoulder bag. During one extended visit in 1968, Husain sat comfortably in our sitting room sketching in ink, members of our family. One is a sketch, in ink, of our late mother and grandmother. In the background of this work is a sketch of the Masks painting."

    Pre-Lot Text