Maqbol Fida Husain (India, b. 1915) Two women with elephants
oil on canvas, signed upper left, inscribed on reverse M. F. Husain/6 Zeenat Manzil/L. J. Road/Mahim-Bombay-16/India, framed 121 x 81 cm.
Provenance: Private collection, Munich: acquired in 1972.
It has been suggested that this work of the 1960s depicts Kerala, 'with its ancient matriarchal society, stanch Dravidian faces, and simple fisherfolk, with its lush vegetation and sun, sand, and sea, this southwestern extremity of India beckoned to him as an idyll of contained form and emotion [...] On Kerala's sands and in its elephant-inhabited jungle and among its people Husain heard a cry that is epitomised in Hoo-o-o, the painting of a woman listening to a discourse as the neighbours mingle among the trees in the background.' (R. Bartholomew and S. S. Kapur, Maqbool Fida Husain, New York 1971, p. 55). Husain visited Kerala in 1967, and this may help to date the present lot, though it does not preclude an earlier date.