The last nine paintings of painter MF Husain commissioned by the Lakshmi Mittal family are, for the first time, to be put up for public display at an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum next month.
Husain, who passed away in London in 2011 aged 95, painted his final work titled Indian Civilisation, which include eight triptych paintings which represent his vision of the richness of India’s culture and history (each measuring 12 feet wide by six feet), and a painting of Lord Ganesha.
The paintings, to be exhibited from 28 May to 27 July, celebrate three ruling dynasties from India’s long history. He places the ancient Mauryan civilization centrally between two invading rulers, the Muslim Mughal dynasty (1525-1857) and the British Raj (1858-1947).
V&A sources said on Thursday that the exhibition will include a lecture on Husain by curator Divia Patel, and a conversation with Usha Mittal, who commissioned the series.
The Indian Civilization series, also known as ‘Vision of India through Mohenje Daro to Mahatma Gandhi’, was commissioned by the Mittal family in 2008 and has never been on public display.
Usha Mittal, who lent the paintings to the V&A, said: "Spanning mythology, architecture and popular culture, the Indian Civilization Series is the final achievement of MF Husain, an artist whose work was continually inspired by the traditions of India."