Abdul Kadir Al Rassam was a member of the first generation of modern Iraqi painters. He was the pioneer among a group of predominantly amateur artists trained in Istanbul who brought their artistic knowledge back to their home country. This group of "soldier-artists" are widely credited with introducing canvas painting to Iraq at the turn of the century. Working in a realist style, al-Rassam is known for his sweeping landscapes, immaculate portraits, and faithful portrayals of everyday life in Iraq. He is one of the most prominent and prolific painters in Iraq's modern art history and his work heavily influenced the generations that followed. More
The present work is one of the most well-known examples of early Iraqi modernism painted by Mohammed "Hajji" Selim, father of prominent Iraqi painter Jewad Selim.
Mohammed Selim was born in Baghdad. His parents were both originally from Mosel in the North of Iraq. Like many individuals from well to do families in Iraq, Selim was educated at the military academy in Istanbul where students encountered Turkish artistic styles of calligraphy and miniature and landscape painting. During the Ottoman reign Selim became an officer in the Ottoman army as well as an amateur artist. More
Akram Shukri is considered one of the most important artists in the development of the Iraqi modern art movement, and although primarily an architect he was the founding member of the Society of Artists and Art Lovers in 1941. This group included important Iraqi artists such as Jawad Selim, Hafiz Droubi and Faik Hassan. Numerous members of this society went on to found other important artist groups; Faik Hassan was the leader of La Societe Primitive which later became known as The Pioneers, and Hafiz Droubi formed a group known as The Baghdad Group of Modern Art. More
Lorna Selim received a scholarship to study at the Slade School of Fine Arts, London, where she received a diploma in painting and design in 1948. The following year she received an Art Teachers' Diploma (ATD) from the London University Institute of Education. From 1949-50 she taught art at the Tapton House Grammar School, Chesterfield, England. In the UK, she met Jewad Selim and they married in 1950. Returning to Baghdad, Lorna Selim became a member of the Baghdad Modern Art Group, Art Friends Society, and Society of Iraqi Plastic Artists. During the 1950s, she exhibited her work with the Baghdad Modern Art Group and the Pioneers Group. She was an art teacher at Ta'ssisiya School, Baghdad, in 1951, and participated in the Iraqi Pavilion Design for the International Fair held in Damascus in 1954. Along with Mohamed Ghani Hikmet, she supervised the completion of Jewad Selim's Monument of Freedom after his sudden death in 1961.