M.F. Hussain lost his mother when he was only one and a half years old. Some time later, his father remarried and moved to the Indore city, where Maqbool completed his schooling. He moved to Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1935 and took admission into Sir J. J. School of Art. MF Hussain started his painting career as a painter of cinema hoardings. It was only in the 1940s that his work started getting some recognition. In the year 1947, he joined the Progressive Artist's Group, which was founded by Francis Newton Souza.
Slowly and gradually, Hussain climbed the ladder of success to become one of the highest paid painters of India. Recently, a single canvas of MF Hussain fetched 2 million dollars at a Christie's auction. Some time back, Hussain started directing and producing movies also. His movies include Gaja Gamini (with Madhuri Dixit) and Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities (with Tabu). His film 'Through the Eyes of a Painter' was shown at the Berlin Film Festival and won a Golden Bear also. The autobiography of M.F. Hussain is being made into a movie, which has been tentatively titled as 'The Making of the Painter'.
The first solo exhibition of M.F. Hussein was held at Zurich in the year 1952. Over the next few years, his paintings were widely appreciated in Europe and USA. In 1966, the Government of India awarded him the prestigious Padma Shree. He has also been awarded the Padma Bhushan. The Government of India also appointed Maqbool Fida Hussein to a term in the Rajya Sabha, in recognition of his contribution to art.