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From Goddess to Pin-up

Feminine icons in Indian calendar art

Patricia Uberoi


A traditional iconographic image of Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and fertility, set against a Nehruvian background of modern industrial production and agricultural prosperity, 1968, 31 x 54 cm

Early in October 1996, India's best-known painter, octogenarian M.E Husain, became embroiled in a massive public controversy. It was alleged that certain of Husain's paintings on religious and mythological themes, which had in fact been painted some years earlier, were offensive to Hindu sensibility, and several complaints and a criminal case were registered…

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