Universally acclaimed as one of India's modern masters, Maqbool Fida Husain is unparalleled in his breadth of artistic vision and sophisticated recontextualization of European Modernism. From his humble beginnings as a billboard painter, Husain has since successfully transcended the critical constraints of regional aesthetics and public opinion. As a leading member of the Progressive Artists Group (PAG) along with other luminaries such as Francis Newton Souza, his work is a paean to the theory of the artist as visionary engaging in an act of metaphysical creation. In the artist's own poignant words: "Two images when placed together act upon each other. The symbol then derives its life from the energy released."(R. Bartholomew and S. Kapur, Husain, p. 21)
Husain has recurrently paid homage to Indian cultural traditions through his paintings, capturing his continuous fascination with rasa on (aesthetic rapture). The inter-disciplinary nature of music, sculpture, dance, painting and film provided enormous inspiration to the artist and the present work depicts Husain's masterful synthesis of the Indian subject of a classical musician into a modern artistic language. Its skilful economy of line and form with swiftly defined linear brushstrokes evokes the physicality of the sitar player and yet maintains tranquil, even idyllic, gestural simplicity with a beautifully muted palette.