Renowned Indian painter MF Husain's 1971 Mahabharata series will be on show at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), Massachusetts, in November.
The paintings, inspired by the Hindu epic Mahabharata, were painted for the 1971 Sao Paolo Biennale. The exhibition will feature 19 works inspired by Husain's vision of Hindu mythology.
While orthodox Hindus have time and again questioned Husain's depiction of Hindu themes, the painter claims the entirety of the Indian tradition as his province.
For Husain, in this series, the central paradox of the epic and of human nature is the competition and jealousies that divide members of a family, forcing them to choose sides and moving them all inexorably towards an Armageddon.
The paintings in the forthcoming show, as also the current one of works by Nalini Malani, are drawn principally from the PEM's Chester and Davida Herwitz Collection, considered one of the most important collections of contemporary Indian art outside Asia.