Portrait of Sufi Waqar, oil on board, signed and dated lower right, framed, 90.2 x 59.7cm (35 1/2 x 23 1/2in).
The dynamic and mercurial Anna Molka Ahmed set up the Department of Fine Arts at the Punjab University in the 1940's and was an overarching influence in art education for many decades. In a career spanning fifty-five years she was well known as a painter of evocative landscapes, grand thematic figurative compositions and observant, insightful portraits. Her works are characterised by a signature impasto technique executed in a flamboyant, vivid palette.
Being an active part of the lively cultural and artistic milieu of Lahore in the 1950s and 1960s, Anna Molka was well poised to take advantage of her position. Her portraits of intellectuals, socialites, writers, poets and fellow artists are held in high regard.
This particular work is of one of her most talented students who went on to pursue a career in the arts in the US. Sufi Waqar Ahmed was the son of the eminent scholar and poet Sufi Ghula Mustafa Tabbassum, one of Lahore's intellectuals and teacher of Faiz Ahmed Faiz. This portrait of Sufi Waqar is unusually penetrating in its understanding of the sitter. It is acutely observant of his sensitive, introverted nature. It is undoubtedly one of Anna Molka Ahmed's finest portraits.