Zeid was immensely productive in the 1950s, creating some of her best-known paintings. The Octopus of Triton
1953 is one of these works. An abstract representation, the canvas teems with vibrant mosaic pieces in primary colours, seeming to swirl out across the canvas from a central cluster.
The Octopus of Triton
Date of work
Oil paint on canvas 181 x 270 Istanbul Modern Collection/Eczacibasi Group Donation © Raad bin Zeid Collection Photo: Reha Arcan
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.