Syed Sadequain

Sadequain was a master muralist and his murals adorn the halls at State Bank of Pakistan (100 x 12 ft), Power House at the Mangla Dam (200 x 30 ft), Lahore Museum, Aligarh Muslim University (70 x 12 ft), Banaras Hindu University (70 x 12 ft), Geological Institute of India (70 x 25 ft), just to name a few. Sadequain was a social commentator. His murals generally depict man’s endless quest to discover and develop the endless potentialities that lie within him and without. The whole pageant of man’s triumphal progress, past, present and future is captured in line and color in one magnificent form. His murals are densely filled and tightly packed with images to render adequately the lofty subject. The images are not only rich in symbolic meaning but visually so much variegated that the eye travels fascinated from point to point. Sadequain was responsible for the renaissance of Islamic Calligraphy in Pakistan. He was one of the greatest calligraphers of his time who transformed the art of calligraphy into eye-catching expressionist paintings. His calligraphy was endowed with divine inspiration giving it a dimension of space and movement. He carried the script with a flourish in all directions, giving it the power of space, vigor and volume. In Pakistan, the art of calligraphy was relegated to a second class status until Sadequain adapted this medium in the late nineteen sixties. Before that time a few painters experimented with the medium but it remained as just that, an experiment. After Sadequain transformed the art of calligraphy into a mainstream art form, most of the known Pakistani artists have followed Sadequain and calligraphic art now dominates the art scene. Sadequain also painted in bold form the poetic verses of Ghalib, Iqbal and Faiz, which illustrate his love for classical literature. He belonged to the school of thought, which enriched realism with lyricism. Sadequain wrote thousand of quartets and published them. Sadequain is the only painter who has been copied openly and widely by many painters and even the copies fetch large sums to the copiers, an irony since the artist himself hardly ever sold his works in spite of offers coming from the royals and the common public. As an example his masterpiece rendition of Sureh-e-Rehman has been copied widely by many known painters of the modern era.

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