Naziha Salim is an Iraqi writer, educator, and artist. She is regarded as the first Iraqi woman to lay the groundwork for Iraqi modern art. On this day in 2020, the Barjeel Art Foundation will include the painter-professor in their collection of female artists, describing her as “one of the most significant artists in Iraq’s modern art scene.” The Google Doodle for today, Saturday, April 23, 2022, is a tribute to Naziha’s painting style and significant contribution to art.
Naziha Salim’s Brief Biography
- Naziha Salim was born in Turkey to an artist family from Iraq. Her family relocated to Bhagdad when she was a child.
- Naziha Salim’s father comes from a family of artists; her father, Hajji Mohammed Salim, was a painter, and her mother was an embroiderer. Her brothers, Rashid, Suad, Nizzare, and Jawad, were all talented artists, so she was exposed to art from a young age.
- Naziha Salim graduated from the Baghdad Fine Arts Institution in 1940.
- Naziha Salim was the first woman to be awarded a scholarship to study art abroad. She went on to the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris to continue to pursue her art education.
- Naziha Salim returned to Baghdad after spending many years abroad and worked as an art professor at Baghdad Fine Arts School until her retirement in the 1980s.
Naziha Salim’s Contribution
- Naziha Salim’s artworks feature bold and vibrant colours to depict rural Iraqi women and peasant life.
- Naziha Salim’s contributions to the Iraqi art scene were immense. She founded the Al-Ruwwad art society (also known as the “Avante Garde or Primitive group”), the first group of Iraqi artists to study abroad and blend contemporary European painting techniques into a distinctly Iraqi aesthetic. This group had a significant impact on subsequent generations of Iraqi artists.
- Naziha Salim was involved in several experimental movements, and her work frequently depicted changes in the lives of women. Her work has been shown in many historic museums around the world.