Art: Controversial Paintings of M.F. Hussain

M. F. Hussain

Indian painter M. F. Hussain (1915 – 2011) during his lifetime created controversy by painting the revered figures of Hinduism in nude. The faithful took offence and protested in the length and breadth of the country. Legal action on the grounds of obscenity was taken in some cases and an apology was sought in others.

M.F. Hussain in his turn argued that ancient Indian art itself depicts sacred figures in semi-nude or nude form and that he had not done anything new and unheard of. Things did not calm down and Hussain had to leave the country due to death threats.

I was discussing this with a friend and later decided to post those pictures on my blog. Here are some, but not all, of the offending paintings.



Goddess Durga in sexual position with a tiger

Goddess Lakhsmi sitting naked on Ganesh’s head

Muslim Sultan is clothed while the Brahman is naked

Naked Saraswati

Naked Parvati

Naked Mother India that infuriated the nationalists

Goddess Sita sitting nude on Ravana’s thigh as Hanuman comes to her rescue

Naked Hitler beheads Mahatma Gandhi


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