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Article

Algerian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1949, in Constantine.

Painter, miniaturist. Local scenes, scenes with figures, landscapes.

Nasreddine Abbassi was a student at the Algiers school of art. After doing a number of different jobs, he decided to take up painting as a full-time profession. Since ...

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, female.

Born 1929.

Engraver.

Mariam Abdel Aleem studied at the institute of art in 1954, and also studied engraving and printing in the USA. She was subsequently appointed professor at Alexandria's faculty of fine art.

She has taken part in a number of important group exhibitions, including the Biennale of engraving at Ljubljana and ...

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1916, in Mallawi; died July 2004.

Sculptor. Animals.

Abdel Badi Abdel Hay studied sculpture in the free section of Cairo University's arts faculty. He often worked with hard stone such as granite, sometimes sculpting animal-like figures, elongating the surface area of his works to create work reminiscent of Pompon and Brancusi....

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1925; died 1988.

Sculptor, painter. Animals.

Salah Abdel Kerim studied at Cairo's faculty of art, continuing his studies in Italy and in Paris. He was appointed Professor of Decorative Art at the same faculty in Cairo and was later appointed Dean of Fine Arts in the city....

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1932.

Painter.

Raouf Abdel Méguid studied at the arts faculty in Cairo in 1955, continuing his studies in Rome in 1959. He was later appointed Professor at the faculty where he had studied as a young man. His painting incorporates traditional motifs from Arabic architectural design which he reworks, often in a playful manner....

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1938, in Alexandria.

Painter.

Moustapha Abdel Mooti studied at the fine arts faculty in Alexandria and was later appointed Professor there.

He paints monumental geometric forms, spheres on top of pyramids or pyramids on top of spheres or cubes, for example, which sometimes appear to punctuate dreamlike spaces, as in his work ...

Article

Tunisian, 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born 3 October 1890, in Mehdia, Algeria.

Painter, draughtsman. Nudes, portraits, landscapes.

Gilani Abdul-Wahab worked mainly in France. He began his artistic education in 1921 at the free academies of Montparnasse in Paris and at the Académie Julian....

Article

Çigdem Kafesçioglu and Walter B. Denny

In 

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1944, in Menoufia.

Painter. Figures.

Abou Chadi has taken part in a number of local group exhibitions. He was selected to participate in the exhibition entitled Aspects of Contemporary Egyptian Art ( Visages de l'art contemporain égyptien) at the Musée Galliera in Paris in ...

Article

Moroccan, 20th century, female.

Born 13 July 1911, in Jerusalem.

Painter, watercolourist, pastellist. Portraits.

Maïa Abourisk studied initially at Casablanca's school of fine art and then under the guidance of the orientalist painter, Lucien Mainssieux. She mainly paints portraits of famous Moroccan figures. Her works include ...

Article

Jaromir Malek

Site of the ancient Egyptian sun temple of King Neuserre (reg c. 2416–c. 2392 bc), on the western bank of the Nile north-west of Abusir, almost opposite the southernmost suburbs of modern Cairo. The temple, called Shesepib re (‘joy of the sun god Re’), is situated at the edge of the Libyan Desert, in the area of the Memphite necropolis.

Six sun temples were built for the state sun god Re-Horakhty by the kings of the 5th Dynasty, but by the late 20th century only two had so far been located. The sun temple of Neuserre was excavated by Friedrich Wilhelm von Bissing in 1898–1901. Nearly all the reliefs were removed, mostly to German collections, and many perished during World War II. The temple was built mainly of limestone. It consists, from east to west, of the valley temple, causeway and upper temple. This arrangement is similar to that of pyramid complexes and suggests a generally accepted concept of a purpose-built temple during the Old Kingdom. A brick-built bark of the sun god was discovered near by....

Article

Peter Grossmann

[Abū Mīnā]

Site of a Christian city and pilgrimage centre in the Maryūt Desert, c. 45 km south-west of Alexandria, Egypt. It grew up around the shrine of St Menas, who was martyred during the persecution of the Christians instigated by Diocletian (reg 285–305). The ancient name of the site is not known, and the position of the saint’s grave had been long forgotten until, according to legend, several miracle cures led to its rediscovery. The place then quickly developed into an increasingly major centre of pilgrimage where, among other things, the so-called Menas ampules were manufactured as pilgrim flasks and achieved particular renown. The first excavations of the site were undertaken by Kaufmann in 1905–7. Further excavations have been directed successively by the Coptic Museum in Cairo (1951), Schläger (1963 and 1964), Wolfgang Müller-Wiener (1965–7) and Peter Grossmann (since 1969).

The earliest archaeological remains date to the late 4th century, although the grave itself was in an older hypogeum. The first martyrium basilica erected over the grave dates to the first half of the 5th century and was rapidly enlarged by various reconstructions and extensions. Around the turn of the 5th and 6th centuries, the Great Basilica was added to the east in the form of a transept-basilica, making it the largest church in Egypt (...

Article

E. P. Uphill

[now Abū Ruwāsh]

Site of necropolis in Egypt, 9 km north of Giza, which flourished c. 2925–c. 2450 bc. Mud-brick mastaba tombs of 1st Dynasty nobles are the earliest buildings at Abu Rawash. The largest mastaba (26×14 m) has eight large recesses in its long walls and is flanked by eight servants’ burials on its eastern side. Two funerary boats are associated with Tomb M25. The pyramid of King Radjedef of the 4th Dynasty dominates the site. Reached by a gigantic causeway, it is spectacularly situated at a height of c. 157 m above the level of the Nile Valley. It was originally c. 67 m high and 105 m square. The 1500 m causeway originally supported a stone corridor, which, with its side walls, measured 14 m wide, while the embankment below widened to 31.5 m at its base and reached a height of 12 m in places. Most of the stone has been quarried away, but the burial-chamber pit (now open to the sky) gives a good impression of the pyramid’s former splendour. The pyramid stood in a large enclosure (267×217 m) on levelled rock. The funerary temple was never completed as designed, but a boat trench (37×9 m) lies beside the pyramid, and a smaller ritual pyramid stood near by. The easternmost promontory of the mountain range was thought by the German Egyptologist Karl Richard Lepsius to be the rock core of an enormous mud-brick pyramid called by him Pyramid No. 1. In the 1980s the site was worked on by Nabil Swelim, who considered it to be the remains of an enormous step pyramid, with about a quarter of its mass being natural rock. He dated it to the end of the 3rd Dynasty, possibly having been built by King Huni, although other writers have suggested a later date, during the 4th Dynasty....

Article

R. G. Morkot

Site in Egypt, on the west bank of the Nile in Lower Nubia, 280 km south of Aswan. With the construction of the Aswan Dam in the early 1960s, the temple complex was one of a number of ancient monuments saved by being moved to a new site. Having been cut into pieces and reassembled, it now stands on the shores of Lake Nasser, 64 m higher and 180 m west of its ancient site. It is not known whether any small rock-cut chapels already existed at Abu Simbel, but inscriptions from the Middle Kingdom show that it was already an ancient sacred site when Ramesses II (reg c. 1279–c. 1213 bc) chose it for his most grandiose, and most famous, Nubian monument.

The construction of the Great and Small Temples of Abu Simbel began in the early years of Ramesses II, and they were completed by around the 25th year of his reign. The Great Temple (...

Article

Arabic School, 10th century, male.

Died 997.

Painter.

None of the works of this artist are known.

Article

Abusir  

Miroslav Verner

[Egyp. Per-Usir; Gr. Busiris]

Ancient Egyptian royal necropolis that flourished during the 5th Dynasty (c. 2465–c. 2325 bc). The site is 25 km south-west of the centre of Cairo and has been intermittently excavated since the beginning of the 19th century by teams of English, French, German, Egyptian and Czech archaeologists.

In the 5th Dynasty the sun cult reached its climax, and, according to legend, the first kings of that dynasty were considered the direct descendants of the sun god Re. Sahure (reg c. 2458–c. 2446 bc), the first king who established his pyramid complex at Abusir, presumably wished to be buried in the vicinity of the sun temple of his predecessor, Userkaf, which stood at the northern outskirts of the necropolis. Sahure’s pyramid was small, and its core was built of poor quality limestone. His pyramid temple, however, was carefully executed in different kinds of stone and richly decorated with reliefs, the whole representing a new stage in the evolution of this type of monument. A small subsidiary pyramid, an enclosure wall, a causeway and a valley temple also originally belonged to the pyramid complex....

Article

Abydos  

John Baines

[anc. Egyp. Abdjw]

Egyptian site, c. 50 km south of Sohag, and necropolis of the ancient city of This (perhaps modern Girga), which was briefly the capital of the newly united Egypt in the Late Predynastic period (c. 3000–c. 2925 bc). As the country’s most ancient capital, it remained significant throughout Egyptian history, becoming the principal cult centre of Osiris, a funerary deity who embodied the tradition of kingship. From the later Middle Kingdom (c. 1750 bc), the Early Dynastic period (c. 2925–c. 2575 bc) royal necropolis was believed to contain the tomb of Osiris; because of this, it was visited by pilgrims until Roman times (30 bcad 395). Large cemeteries continued to accumulate, and they were characterized in the latest period by a distinctive Greco-Egyptian type of stele. These merged Egyptian and Classical styles with a largely Egyptian decorative repertory and were increasingly inscribed in Greek. Thus for two millennia Abydos was an important centre of non-royal art, as well as the location of major temples....

Article

Simon Njami

(b Contou, 1942).

Beninois installation artist. He studied law in France, and it was not until he returned to Benin in 1971 that he became an artist, by accident. Considered mad by his family, he was sent to a psychiatric hospital a few times before encountering Jean Michel Rousset, a young Frenchman who reassured him about his talent. In his compound Adaeagbo creates an ever-changing assemblage of found materials: sculptures, stones, clothing, newspapers. New materials are added, and old objects are rearranged. These creations function as historical documents of his times, as well as of particular days, as he works each day after his walks. His work has been described as reflecting and evoking the ‘madness in words’: the inability to understand words, and the conflicts that arise from this lack of understanding. It can also be seen as a comment on his own life and the suffering of a misunderstood artist. In Adaeagbo’s smaller pieces, objects are combined with a greater emphasis on symbolic intent than aesthetic concerns. He has exhibited at the Institut Claude-Nicolas Ledoux (...

Article

South African, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 23 June 1929, in Johannesburg; died 31 December 2006, in London.

Painter, printmaker, draughtsman.

Albert Adams moved to Cape Town with his mother and sister at the age of four. After high school he studied at Hewat College, and attended art classes with Peter Clarke; he was refused entrance to the Michaelis School of Fine Art because of the colour of his skin....

Article

Beninese, 20th century, male.

Born 1942, in Cotonou.

Installation artist.

Adéagbo formerly studied law in France. On the death of his father, he returned to Benin in 1971. He has not followed the traditional 'head of the family' role by choosing a dependable profession, but rather spends his time creating what the art milieux in the West call installations. He has been sectioned on several occasions at the request of his family. It has taken him several years to be able to assert his way of living....