Monday, April 13, 2015

Iraqi Modernism - Mohammed "Hajji" Selim

Mohammed "Hajji" Selim (Iraq, 1883-1941)
Still Life 
oil on canvas, framed
signed "Hajji Selim" and dated "1941" in Arabic (lower right), executed in 1941
56 x 95cm (22 1/16 x 37 3/8in).

The present work is one of the most well-known examples of early Iraqi modernism painted by Mohammed "Hajji" Selim, father of prominent Iraqi painter Jewad Selim. 

Mohammed Selim was born in Baghdad. His parents were both originally from Mosel in the North of Iraq. Like many individuals from well to do families in Iraq, Selim was educated at the military academy in Istanbul where students encountered Turkish artistic styles of calligraphy and miniature and landscape painting. During the Ottoman reign Selim became an officer in the Ottoman army as well as an amateur artist. More