Renowned artist Murtaja Baseer died after contracting coronavirus at a private hospital in the capital on Saturday morning. He was 88.
Baseer breathed his last at Evercare Hospital around 9:15am, according to his family members.
He will be buried at Banani Graveyard.
Murtaja Baseer, also a poet, short story writer, novelist, researcher, numismatist and filmmaker, received the Ekushey Padak in 1980.
Son of scholar and linguist Dr Muhammad Shahidullah and Marguba Khatun, Baseer 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 Bengali film ‘Nodi O Nari’ (The River and the Women).
Also the art director of Urdu film Kaise Kahoon, Baseer joined the University of Chittagong as an assistant professor and served there until 1998.
The painter received Independence Award in 2019.