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Silent Bids Auction Silent Bids Auction M F HUSAIN (1915 - 2011)
Published in forthcoming edition (2020) of 'A Moment in Time: With Legends of Indian Art'
Acquired directly from the artist
Private Collection, New Delhi
"The sound of galloping horses seemed like a tremor to me.
Its echoes do not seem to stop.
All these horses running together raise a cloud of dust.
Duldul – the horse from the battle of Karbala,
Ashwamedh – reaching up to Luv and Kush.
Luminous in their seven rainbow colours.
Horses harnessed to the chariot of the Sun God,
Bursting through the sky.
Passionate horses, screaming with desire.
The Chinese terracotta horses,
Folk horses from the village of Bankura,
Horses, with the beauty of a woman and the valour of man.
Start shooting past me like arrows, swift from a bow.
For long years they have been galloping like this, and I have watched them all along."
- Rashda Siddiqui, M F Husain - In Conversation with Husain Paintings, 2001
Horses have inspired Husain from an early age. As a child he would accompany his grandfather Abdul when he visited the stables of his friend Achan Mian. All kinds of horses were brought there – trained horses from the cavalry, polo thoroughbreds, the palace horses of the Maharaja and also common horses that pulled the tonga and chariot. Abdul would narrate wondrous stories to him that would invariably feature horses – astonishing creatures of valour and wit. As he grew up Husain began to closely observe their magnificent forms and make perfect likenesses on walls and school notebooks using coal or chalk. After the death of Abdul, Husain grew closer to his art, finding solace in its magical company. His horses began to imbibe the distinctive folk element of his native land and after his visit to China and meeting with the celebrated artist Chi Pei Hung, Husain began to work incessantly on the forms of his horses. They already had the beauty of form, to which he now added the ferocity of movement.
In this painting, four horses are depicted galloping thunderously towards the finishing line. Racing against each other, the dust-storm around them is testimony to the raw intensity of the moment. Each of the horses are captured in a different hue and display immense power. The composition speaks of Husain’s genius as it delineates his mastery in handling form and space.