He breathed his last at the Evercare Hospital on Saturday morning
Eminent artist Murtaja Baseer has passed away at a hospital in Dhaka at the age of 88.
He breathed his last while undergoing treatment at the intensive care unit (ICU) of Evercare Hospital around 9:15am on Saturday, reports BSS citing family sources.
Baseer was admitted to the hospital due to severe respiratory problem and reduction of oxygen consumption rate, along with other old-age complications.
Doctors confirmed that he was Covid-19 positive on Friday evening, the family sources added.
Meanwhile, President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed profound shock and sorrow at the death of the renowned artist.
In a message of condolence, the president said Murtaja Baseer's death is really irreparable loss to the country's art and cultural arena.
"His creations and works will remain a source of inspiration for the young generation forever."
In her message of condolence, Sheikh Hasina said: "The contribution made by Murtaja Baseer for development of the country's fine arts will inspire the future generations."
Both the president and the prime minister prayed for eternal peace of the departed soul and conveyed deep sympathy to the bereaved family.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor Atiqul Islam also expressed deep shock and sorrow at the demise of the noted artist.
Murtaja Baseer, also a poet, short story writer, novelist, researcher, numismatist and filmmaker, received the Ekushey Padak in 1980, reports UNB.
Born on August 17, 1932, Baseer is the son of scholar and linguist Dr Muhammad Shahidullah and Marguba Khatun.
He got enrolled in the then Dacca Art College (now the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka) in 1949.
After graduation in 1954, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence during 1956-58. Then he studied mosaic and etching at École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA) in Paris during 1971–73.
Baseer has several novels to his credit, including Ultramarine (1954), Kanch-er Pakhir Gaan (1969), Mitar Shangey Char Shandha and Amitakkhar. He was a regular contributor to now defunct literary journals like Dilruba, Samakal, and Saogat. His first published poem was Parbe Na.
He was the scriptwriter, art director, and chief assistant director of Bangla film "Nodi O Nari" (The River and the Women). He was also the art director of Urdu film Kaise Kahoon.
He joined the University of Chittagong as an assistant professor and served there until 1998.
The painter received Swadhinata Padak (Independence Award) in 2019.