Sadequain

(1923 - 1987) Born on June 30, 1923 to a family of calligraphers, Syed Sadequain Ahmed Naqvi also often referred to as Sadequain, was a Pakistani artist, best known for his skills as a calligrapher and a painter. He is considered as one of the finest painters and calligraphers Pakistan has ever produced. He was also a poet, writing hundreds of ruba?iyat in the style of Omar Khayyam and Sarmad Kashani. In late 1940s he joined the Progressive Writers and Artists Movement. His true talent was discovered by Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy who brought Sadequain into the limelight. He also spent some time in Paris augmenting his skills. Sadequain received much praise for his calligraphic style, which is widely considered iconic by many critics of South Asian art. Sadequain was part of a broader Islamic art movement that emerged independently across North Africa and parts of Asia in the 1950s and known as the hurufiyah art movement. Hurufiyah refers to the attempt by artists to combine traditional art forms, notably calligraphy as a graphic element within a contemporary artwork. Sadequain is a pioneer of the style, bringing calligraphy into a mainstream art form, and influencing subsequent generations of Pakistani artists. Sadequain was the most prolific painter in the period following the independence of Pakistan in 1947. He was constantly at work and he worked on large scale. He repeatedly stated that he was not interested in decorating drawing rooms of rich and powerful. He worked on large murals for public buildings, symbolic of the collective labour of humanity, and his work was mostly donated to the public. Sadequain in his own words was primarily a painter of figures with allegorical significance. He passed away on February 10, 1987 in Karachi, Pakistan.