A self-taught artist, Muqbool Fida Husain was born in 1915 in Maharashtra. In 1937 he reached Mumbai determined to become an artist, with hardly any money and lived m a cheap room in a by lane inhabited by pimps and prostitutes. Initially Husain apprenticed himself to a painter of cinema hoardings which he would paint with great dexterity perched on scaffolding sometimes in the middle of traffic. Husain was noticed for the first time in 1947 when he won an award at the annual exhibition of the Bombay Art Society. Subsequently he was invited by Souza to join the Progressive Artist's Group. Along with several solo exhibitions he had major retrospectives in Mumbai in 1969, in Calcutta in 1973 and in Delhi in 1978. He has participated in many international shows which include Contemporary Indian Art, Royal Academy of Arts, London 1982; Six Indian Painters, Tate Gallery, London 1985; Modem Indian Painting, Hirschhom Museum, Washington 1986 and Contemporary Indian Art, Grey Art Gallery, New York 1986. Husain was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1973, the Padma Vibhushan in 1989 and was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1986.
Husain had studios in several cities in India and lived in Dubai and passed away in 2011.