Zainul Abedin (Bangladesh, 1914-1976) Study of a Crow,
Lot 406*
Zainul Abedin
(Bangladesh, 1914-1976)
Study of a Crow,
Sold for £7,500 (US$ 12,629) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
Zainul Abedin (Bangladesh, 1914-1976)
Study of a Crow, ink on paper, artist stamp and date 10.12.49 upper right, framed,26.1 x 36.6cm (10 1/4 x 14 7/16in).


  • Provenance: Private Collection, Pakistan; acquired directly from the artist in Karachi, 1949, by Ahmed Ali (1908 - 1994), writer, scholar, diplomat and co-founder of Progressive Writers' Movement of India, and knew the artist since 1944 when he was Professor & Head of the English Department, Presidency College, Calcutta, thence by descent.

    Zainul Abedin is recognized as the founding father of the Bangladeshi Art Movement and the Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Museum was established to honour the great artist. He studied and taught at the Calcutta Art School. After Partition, he joined the Government Art Department at Karachi and later founded and was Principal of The Art Institute Dhaka. He held major one man shows in many countries including Britain and the United States.

    "The most significant works of Zainul Abedin are the Calcutta Famine Sketches of 1943 which have often been compared to Rembrandt's drawings of Beggars, and Goya's Desastors de la Guerra. John Buckland Wright, paid rich tributes to the evocative brilliance of these sketches: 'The emotional impact of the starving figures is immense, and yet apart from this emotional quality, what remains is an abstract aesthetic composition of a very high quality. His brush work is alive, direct, never purely descriptive, but a recreation of the scenes in terms of sensitive patterns.'

    The Study of a Crow in Black wash though recreated a few years later, is actually a continuation of the same mood and technique which marks out the Famine drawings..." and considered a master piece. (See Introduction: Monograph on Zainul Abedin, FOMMA, Karachi, 2004, colour plate XI, also 'Art in Pakistan', Jalaluddin Ahmed, Pakistan Publications, Karachi, 1962, pp. 62-70).
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  1. Matthew Thomas
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