During the 1940s, Zeid moved towards abstraction and began to work on a larger scale, attracting the attention of key figures such as André Breton and the art critic Charles Estienne. Break of the Atom and Vegetal Life
1962, is characteristic of these abstract works in its use of rich, sumptuous colours, densely filling the huge canvas.
Break of the Atom and Vegetal Life
Date of work
Oil paint on canvas 210 x 540 cm Z. Yildirim Family Collection © 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.