A super-hero Hanuman by the Ravi Varma Press, 1910's

Source: ebay, Feb. 2009

"Hanuman: The Original Superman," by Maqbool Fida Husain

Source: http://www.asianart.com/articles/husain/index.html
(downloaded Nov. 1999)

Commentary by Shyamal Bagchee:

"We should now look at some of the painterly methods Husain adopts in order to subordinate the world (or its symbols) to India (or its symbols). In a different painting of Hanuman, Husain portrays this mythic figure as "The Original Superman." In one episode of Ramayana, doubt is expressed about Hanuman's loyalty to Rama. To prove the extent of his devotion to his master, Hanuman rips open his chest to reveal the image of Rama and Sita engraved on his heart. Throughout Ramayana Hanuman is depicted as being incredibly strong (in one episode he lifts an entire mountain); also, being the son of the Wind god (Pavan or Vayu), he possesses the ability to fly. Husain combines these narrative elements to paint his flying strongman. The figure is posed more diagonally than vertically in the painting, suggesting that Hanuman is either in the act of taking off from the ground, or having just landed has still not come to a full stop. The head is naturalistically painted a deep brown, but the rest of Hanuman's body is presented as if sheathed entirely in a luminous yellow-green body-suit. On his chest, painted within a diamond, are the figures of Rama and Sita. The parody of the typical Superman poster is hard to miss. Taking material from an Indian myth--which is as popular in India as is the American fictional hero in the Western world--Husain transposes the imported image on to it to declare the originary status of the Indian myth, and the derived and belated quality of the American one."

M.F. Husain, "Hanuman Series 1"
22" x 15"; Medium: Watercolor, Ink on Paper 

M.F. Husain, "Hanuman Series 5"
22" x 15"; Medium: Watercolor, Ink on Paper 

M.F. Husain, "Hanuman Series 7"
22" x 15"; Medium: Watercolor, Ink on Paper 

M.F. Husain, "Hanuman Series 8"
22" x 15"; Medium: Watercolor, Ink on Paper 

More of M. F. Husain's "Hanuman" paintings, 1970's and 1980's, from the Chester and Davida Herwitz Collection

Source: http://www.artswithoutborders.com/preview/husain_preview.html
(downloaded Sept. 2002)

*"In Hindu culture, nudity is a metaphor for purity"-- an interview with Husain, Tehelka, 2008*

Source: http://www.tehelka.com/story_main37.asp?filename=Ne020208in_hindu_culture.asp
(downloaded Mar. 2010)

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