Maqbool Fida Husain's BHOPAL painting to highlight Bonhams' October 8 sale

A painting by Maqbool Fida Husain (1915-2011) titled BHOPAL is to highlight a sale of Islamic and Indian Art at Bonhams London on October 8, with an estimate of £200,000-300,000 ($320,000-420,000).

The painting, which dates to 1984, details the aftermath of the Bhopal gas leak which killed over 2,000 people. It was painted almost immediately after Husain learned of the news and has been compared, both in style and tone, with Picasso's Guernica, which was a reaction to the bombing of the Spanish town by German and Italian forces in 1937.

BHOPAL Husain Bonhams
The painting was Husain's response to the 1984 Bhopal disaster

Husain was one of India's pre-eminent modernist artists, creating work influenced by both cubism and traditional Indian painting. An untitled work from his acclaimed Maya series sold for $782,500 against a $500,000-700,000 estimate at Sotheby's New York in 2012.  

His record price at auction is $1.6m, set at Christie's in 2008 by Sprinkling Horses.

A post-Sassanian bronze Persian horse, dating to the 7th or 8th century is another highlight. The theriomorphic figurine exhibits naturalistic features, including representations of hair and chevron design. It carries an estimate of £120,000-150,000 ($190,000-240,000).

Sayed Haider Raza's Bindu, a painting dating to 1998, carries an estimate of £100,000-150,000 ($160,000-240,000). Part of the artist's acclaimed Bindu series, which describes a source of energy in abstract, geometric terms, the canvas is split into differing sections around a central focal point - the intention being to enter into a meditative, trance like state.

Two finely woven silk fragments, one depicting lions and the other cockerels, are selling as separate lots with identical valuations of £80,000-120,000 ($130,000-190,000). Both pieces date to 8th century central Asia.

There were a number of high profile auctions of Indian art as part of the recent Asia Week sales in New York - most notably the sale of the Supratik Bose collection and the Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art auction.

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