During her time in Iraq, Zeid was inspired by Bedouin women carrying produce on their heads and they became a recurring motif in her artwork. She compared watching these women to looking at space, speed and movement and felt the only way to capture this experience was by using black lines and dabs of colour.
Date of work
Watercolour on paper 58.4 x 45.7 cm © Raad bin Zeid Collection Photo: Laval Studio, courtesy Raad bin Zeid Collection
Fahrelnissa Zeid is best known for her densely filled abstract works, and stylised portraits in later life. She was born in Istanbul in 1901 into an elite family of statesmen and intellectuals and later married into the Hashemite royal family of Iraq. She became one of the first female modern painters in Turkey, joining the d group – an influential group of progressive Turkish avant-garde artists. Widely travelled, Zeid exhibited her work in London, Paris, Brussels, New York and Jordan.