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Tunisian, 20th century, male.

Born 26 May 1921, in Tunis.

Painter, miniaturist. Genre scenes, local scenes, figures. Wall decorations, stage sets, designs for stained glass.

Jélal Ben Abdallah was a student at the school of fine art in Tunis. Initially he was a miniaturist, having studied traditional Islamic art and developed an oriental style, often defined as Tunisian. He portrays the traditions and ceremonies of Tunisian life in a make-up inspired by the ancient miniatures, using a range of warm ochres and soft browns. He also proved himself to be capable of adapting the images from these miniatures to a much larger format, that of murals, especially popular in the banks of Tunisia. His pleasant illustrations of Tunisian traditions are very popular with the public. As well as a certain ease of style and subject-matter, he can also achieve a certain poetic vein in his work....

Article

El Hadji Sy

(b Bambey Departement, 1926).

Senegalese painter. He began painting on paper with pigments obtained from plants, but in his 20s he discovered glass painting in Kaolack and has since developed that medium. After working with Gora Mbengue, he began to use pen and India ink to create drawings that he later traced to glass. In the late 1980s he and Mbengue collaborated on a series of paintings dealing with the slave trade. Like many other glass painters, he produced images of daily life, portraits—especially of women—and religious scenes of Mouridism, an Islamic religious brotherhood. Amadou Bamba’s Imprisonment in Dakar (1993; Tervuren, Kon. Mus. Mid.-Afrika) depicts the emergence of Cheikh Amadu Bamba (1850–1927), the founder of the Mourides, from his prison cell. Unusually, Gueye produces pieces in both full colour and in black and white. In 1994 he was working in Dakar, where he and several apprentices produced images from a repertoire of over 300 designs....

Article

Muller  

Rupert Featherstone

Stone or glass implement with a flat base, used to grind paints by hand on a hard flat surface or slab. Mullers and slabs of hard stone are first recorded in ancient Egypt. Large glass mullers were used for the commercial preparation of paints until the 19th century. Pigments could be ground on their own for use in fresco or aqueous media or ground in oil for later use....

Article

El Hadji Sy

(b Tivaouane, 1953).

Senegalese painter and teacher. He graduated in 1976 from the Institut National des Arts du Senegal, where he trained as an art educator. After building a collection of glass paintings, he began to explore this medium as a support for his art. He carefully studied the techniques of glass-painting masters, advancing the conventional subjects associated with the medium. Rather than representing traditional narrative and religious scenes, his paintings depict both human figures and organic forms resembling flora. The glass painting Aristot (1992, Dakar, Serigne Babacar Sy priv. col.) suggests his emphasis on the graphic potential of both line and colour. Closer examination reveals his use of tiny dots and thin lines to animate the composition. Ndiaye has exhibited in Senegal, Europe and the USA, and Senegalese television produced a short film about his work in the early 1990s. In addition to working in Switzerland and France, he has taught art in Dakar and St Louis, Senegal....