Like many of her figurative paintings from the 1940s, Zeid’s Self Portrait
1944 is a combination of realism and expressionist techniques. The skin tones, proportions and background are naturalistic, but the exaggerated, commanding gaze gives the portrait a stylized feel.
Date of work
Oil paint on canvas 60 x 50 cm Sema and Barbaros Çaga Collection © Raad bin Zeid Collection Photo: Hadiye Cangökçe
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.