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Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

[‛Alī Wijdān; Wijdan]

(b Baghdad, Aug 29, 1939).

Jordanian painter and art patron. She studied history at Beirut University College (formerly Beirut College for Women), receiving a BA in 1961. In 1993 she took a PhD in Islamic Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. After serving in the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representing her country at United Nations meetings in Geneva and New York, Ali founded the Royal Society of Fine Arts in Jordan in 1979 and the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts in 1980 (see Jordan, Hashemite Kingdom of). In 1988 she organized in Amman the Third International Seminar on Islamic Art, entitled ‘Problems of Art Education in the Islamic World’, and in 1989 she organized the exhibition Contemporary Art from the Islamic World at the Barbican Centre, London. In 2001 she founded the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Jordan, and has received numerous awards in recognition of her work in the arts....

Article

(b Istanbul, March 22, 1904; d Istanbul, 1982).

Turkish painter, teacher and writer. He graduated from the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul in 1924 and then worked under Ernest Laurent at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. On returning to Turkey in 1928 he was a founder-member of the Association of Independent Painters and Sculptors (Müstakil ressamlar ve heykeltraşlar birliği). He went to Paris again in 1932 and studied under André Lhote and Fernand Léger, the influence of the latter being particularly important. A characteristic example of his style at this time is Still-life with Playing Cards (1933; Istanbul, Mimar Sunan U., Mus. Ptg & Sculp.). Returning to Turkey in 1933, he was a founder-member and the principal spokesman of the D Group (D Grubu), whose aim was to encourage contemporary European artistic ideas in Turkey. He later became an influential teacher at the Fine Arts Academy, Istanbul, and Director of the Museum of Painting and Sculpture, Istanbul. His ability to combine his work as a writer, teacher and painter made him an important figure for modern Turkish art. He helped to organize international exhibitions of Turkish art and, along with the Turkish art scholar ...

Article

(b Rize, 1911; d Istanbul, 1975).

Turkish painter and writer. He studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul (1927–31) and then under André Lhote in Paris (1931–2). On returning to Istanbul he joined the D Group in 1934, and at the end of 1936 became assistant to Léopold Lévy (1882–1966) at the Fine Arts Academy. Although influenced by the work of such European artists as Matisse and Dufy, he also appreciated from an early date the arts of Anatolia. Under the Turkish government’s policy to send artists to work in the provinces, he went to Edirne in 1938 and to Çorum in 1942, where he studied the folk culture. Thereafter themes relating to Anatolian life became prominent in his work. He also taught younger artists to appreciate folk art, and with this aim some of his students at the Academy formed the Group of Ten in 1947. In his own works he experimented with various styles and media. In ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

[Edhem, Osman Hamdi; Hamdi Bey]

(b Istanbul, Dec 30, 1842; d Eskihisar, Gebze, nr Istanbul, Feb 24, 1910).

Turkish painter, museum director and archaeologist. In 1857 he was sent to Paris, where he stayed for 11 years, training as a painter under Gustave Boulanger and Jean-Léon Gérôme. On returning to Turkey he served in various official positions, including two years in Baghdad as chargé d’affaires, while at the same time continuing to paint. In 1873 he worked on a catalogue of costumes of the Ottoman empire, with photographic illustrations, for the Weltausstellung in Vienna. In 1881 he was appointed director of the Archaeological Museum at the Çinili Köşk, Topkapı Palace, in Istanbul. He persuaded Sultan Abdülhamid II (reg 1876–1909) to issue an order against the traffic in antiquities, which was put into effect in 1883, and he began to direct excavations within the Ottoman empire. As a result he brought together Classical and Islamic objects for the museum in Istanbul, including the Sarcophagus of Alexander, unearthed in Sidon in ...

Article

(b Najaf, 1944).

Iraqi calligrapher, painter, printmaker and writer, active in Paris (see fig.). He studied painting and calligraphy in Baghdad from 1960 to 1969, and in 1969 exhibited his work at the Iraqi Artists’ Society exhibition and at the French Cultural Centre in Baghdad. The same year he went to Paris and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts until 1975. Thereafter he lived in Paris. Although influenced by traditional calligraphy, he developed his own calligraphic style, which incorporated painterly elements. In many of his works, for example Je suis le feu tapi dans la pierre. Si tu es de ceux qui font jailler l’étincelle alors frappe (1984; Paris, Inst. Monde Arab.), he employed proverbs and quotations from a range of sources. He also researched and wrote about Arabic calligraphy.

Article

(b. London, June 20, 1912; d. London, 29 Dec. 2005).

British historian of Persian painting. Robinson came to love Persian painting as a boy and in 1931, while still at school, he visited the great International Exhibition of Persian Art held at Burlington House in London several times, including once with the traveler and historian Brigadier General Sir Percy Sykes (1867–1945). After taking a degree at Oxford, he read for a post-graduate year cataloguing the Bodleian collection of Persian miniatures. In 1939 he joined the Victoria and Albert Museum, where he worked briefly in the library before being transferred to the Department of Metalwork, where he remained, becoming Keeper in 1966 until his retirement in 1972. He was an expert not only in Oriental metalwork, but also in Japanese swords and sword-mounts, Japanese prints and especially Persian miniatures. Along with organizing major exhibitions, such as the Loan Exhibition of Persian Miniature Paintings from British Collections (1951), the Kuniyoshi exhibition of ...

Article

[Sa‛īd, Shākir Ḥasan al-]

(b Samawa, 1925; d 2004).

Iraqi painter and writer. Said graduated in 1954 from the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad, where he was taught by Jawad Salim. In 1955 he was sent on a government scholarship to Paris, where he attended the Académie Julian, the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs and also trained as a special student under Raymond Legueult (1898–1978). In 1959 he returned to Baghdad and was inspired by Arab painting of the 13th century, notably the work of al-Wasiti (see Islamic art, §III, 4(iv)(c)); he also read the works of the mystic philosopher al-Hallaj (d ad 922) and was drawn to Sufism. He gave up figural depiction in his paintings and turned to Arabic calligraphy, the spiritual and physical qualities of the letters becoming the central subject of his compositions. In 1971 he formed the ‘One-dimension’ group in Baghdad, which promoted the modern calligraphic school in Arab art, and in the same year the group held its only exhibition. His preoccupation with the spiritual element in art continued in his later work (e.g. ...

Article

Salima Hashmi

(b Simla, India, 1929; d Stafford, England, Jan 18, 1985).

Pakistani painter, printmaker, writer and teacher, active in England. He was born into a Kashmiri family of carpetmakers and grew up in Lahore. He received a diploma in fine arts in 1947 from the Mayo School of Arts, Lahore, and studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1959–60). He was active in the literary circles of Lahore as a poet and short-story writer throughout the 1950s. Although trained in traditional miniature techniques, calligraphy and formal tessellated pattern making, in his early work he propagated a modernist, iconoclastic approach to painting, creating cubistic cityscapes and still-lifes in oil on canvas. Strongly influenced by Paul Klee, Shemza later drew on Arabic and Persian calligraphy in strongly linear works. In his ink-and-watercolour Untitled Drawing (1959; Lahore, A. Council Col.) the structure is geometric yet the forms remain fluid and rhythmic. He participated in the International Print Biennial, Tokyo (...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b Tehran, 1937).

Iranian sculptor, painter, art historian and collector. He studied sculpture at the College of Fine Arts at Tehran University, graduating in 1956, and then attended the Accademia di Belle Arti in Carrara (1956–7) and the Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan (1958–9), where he worked under Marino Marini. In 1960 he began to teach at the College of Decorative Arts in Tehran, and in 1961 he was invited to the Minneapolis College of Arts and Design as a visiting artist, where he taught sculpture until 1963. In 1964 he returned to Tehran to teach sculpture at the College of Fine Arts. Primarily a sculptor, he worked with a range of materials, including bronze, copper, brass, scrap metal and clay. In the 1960s he contributed to the art movement in Iran known as Saqqakhana, and he made sculptures that were reminiscent of religious shrines and objects. Pairs of figures and fantastic birds were also common subjects. Themes from classical Persian literature also influenced him. He frequently rendered the word ...