Monday, April 26, 2010

MF Hussain's hand analysis

Reading MF Hussain's hands was more difficult than I imagined. He is a man with many layers to his personality. MF Hussain's paintings are world famous but there has always been some kind of controversy attached to his name.

Regarding his hand, usually, there is some consistency in the length of the phalanges of the different fingers, but in Hussain’s case, there isn’t. This points to inconsistent character traits.

The world knows him as a talented painter, and this talent is evident in his hand. A mix of different qualities has enabled him to be successful in the world of art. His Apollo finger, which is longer than normal, and its phalanges are an indication of
exceptional talent and also a great ambition to be in the public eye. And that the talent has to do with his vivid imagination is clear not just from the mount of Moon but from his well-shaped headline which plunges in a graceful curve into the Mount.

Check out a hand photograph of his here.

His flexible and open mind is shown by the quadrangle and the suppleness of his hand as well as the low-set thumb. His attention to detail in observing life around him, his curious inquiring mind and thinking ability, is evident in the shape of his hand, developed finger knots and the phalanges of his Saturn finger.

His superb ability to channel his imagination in a productive manner is clear from the strength of his Head Line as well as his thumb. His pragmatism also goes a long way in keeping him productive.

His mental agility and skill, shrewdness and the ability to judge human nature is seen by the development of his Mercury Finger and Mount, but as the phalanges show, he does not have Mercury’s verbal power of expression.

Not a genius
He is extremely able, but his hand does not show genius or a high level of mental talent. The quality of his headline and the shape, length and thickness of his finger phalanges point to this. His third finger phalanges are too long and first finger phalanges not thin enough. These put his talent on a lower plane.

Whether it is to do with his personal beliefs or work, he does not live on a higher mental plane. Day to day life and money matter to him. He is not religious and nor does he believe in any particular idea, whether it be a country or an ism. When it comes to work, his hand shows practicality and a remarkable lack of idealism.

A lot of people feel that he is anti-national because he painted Hindu (Indian) goddesses in the nude. The truth is that he does not revere anyone or anything. All that he cares about is work and what it's going to get him. It is unlikely that he feels terrible about giving up his Indian citizenship as he would see himself as a global citizen. If he has feelings for India it would be because of memories, and if he misses India it has more to do with missing his routine and friends. As his work is of utmost importance to him, he would go anywhere where he can work in peace.

And no, he will never offend Islam because he is too smart for that. When he drew Hindu goddesses in a manner that offended people in India he was probably taken aback at the virulent reaction. He must have thought he would get away with it. He would have, some half a century back.

Other qualities
He is able to adjust to changing circumstances amazingly quickly.

Despite his very strong desire for money and fame, he has a philanthropic streak in his hand.

MF Hussain may have great capability but he is not an easy person to get along with. For one thing, he is manipulative and controlling, shown clearly by his Jupiter Finger. And then his thumb shows stubbornness and a strong will.

In conclusion, one can say that MF Hussain has an excellent hand which shows unusual ability but it is not a typical artist’s hand. The tips of his fingers are a clue to his mindset. He sees issues from a realistic, worldly perspective. Perhaps that is why he became a successful money-making artist. He does not let his ideals get in the way of his work.

(MF Hussain is an internationally known painter who was Indian until January 2010. Today he is a citizen of Qatar. He is 95 years old. The photograph is taken from his website).

Find out more about Indian celebrities from Bollywood and read about Indian businesspeople and Indian Spiritual Leaders.

Or read about the personalities of Film Directors from different parts of the world.


  1. Nice post. I tend to agree that he's not a genius. In fact, I find him filmy and Bollywoodish with all the controversies surrounding him.Also true that he has produced some good work and is very talented.

  2. One of the reasons I wanted to read MF Hussain's hands is because I was curious as to why he painted Hindu deities in the nude. I wondered if it was malicious, hypocritical or something along those lines. After reading his hands I realised that he does not revere any deity, of any religion. He is simply an artist. But he is a survivor too, and that is why he did not do the same to Islam. I guess some would call it hypocrisy, but it can also be interpreted as someone who doesn't really care. Not that I like this quality about him. I think artists of all people should be sensitive. But again there are those who feel that artists shouldn't care about feelings of others and should paint whatever inspires them.

    1. He did offend Islam when certain groups of Muslims created an objection to a song in the movie Meenakshi: A Tale of Three Cities. Please refer to for more details.

  3. He is very old, so I am sure you had an interesting time reading his hand..
    He would have got away with it, half a century back, because people were less sensitive?

  4. Yes less sensitive and more important, this political "Hindu" fervour did not exist. Remember, Hinduism is a very tolerant religion and we even accept atheists in our religion. However the 21st century has brought with it some right wingers who feel they will get some political benefit by whipping up anger about some religious issue. To threaten Hussain with bodily harm is appalling and a disservice to our great religion. If people's sentiments were hurt, they could have started a peaceful campaign against him, exhorted people not to buy his paintings, and so many other ways.

  5. In my opinion he isn't a true artist if he viewed art as a business or a way to make money. However, that is how the art scene is structured and its not going to change any time soon. So in that context he succeeded.

  6. purpler, well, it isn't as if he is mercenary and I hope my post doesn't sound like that. What I meant was that he has a practical view of life and does want to make a good living.

  7. Incredible you mind doing one on any famous English writer please?

  8. Uptill now I have not read the hand of any author and I really want to. I have been collecting hands of several authors, but have not been satisfied with the quality of photos. Lets see, in the future I will definitely do so.


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