Jewad Selim (Iraq, 1920-1961) Nalini
Lot 412A*
Jewad Selim (Iraq, 1920-1961)
Nalini
Sold for £170,500 (US$ 276,125) inc. premium

Lot Details
Jewad Selim (Iraq, 1920-1961) Nalini
Jewad Selim (Iraq, 1920-1961)
Nalini
oil on canvas, framed
authenticated at a later date by the artists wife Lorna Selim (reverse of the stretcher), verso with an unfinished work attributed to Lorna Selim
executed circa 1949
56 x 46cm, 22 x 18in

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    the artist's personal collection; and thence by descent to the artist's widow, Lorna, and daughters, Miriam and Zaineb.

    Exhibited:
    Baghdad, Fine Arts Institute, Société Primitive, 1952
    India, Iraqi Art Exhibition in India: Calcutta, Delhi and Hyderabad, Organised by the The Ministry of Education of the Government of Iraq, 1955

    Published:
    Exhibition Catalogue, Iraqi Art Exhibition in India, Ministry of Education of the Government of Iraq, 1955

    The present lot is a rare appearance of an oil painting by Jewad Selim from the Selim family's private collection.

    The subject, Mrinalini Sarabhai, is one of the most celebrated figures of classical Indian dance. Born in 1918, she was Educated in Switzerland, her native India and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Mrinalini went on to gain international acclaim both for her performance and choreography, as well as founding one of the most influential dance academies in India. By her early twenties, Mrinalini had already performed in India, Europe and America with her company.

    The present portrait was painted during her first London appearance in 1949 at St Martin's Theatre in London's West End with the "Ballets Hindous" which also performed in Geneva, Lucerne and Brussels in the same year. At the time the portrait was painted Selim was studying in London on a government scholarship and mixing in artistic and musical circles where he encountered Mrinalini. He started at the Chelsea School of Art in January 1946, but moved to the Slade School of Fine Art in September of that same year, where he met his future wife and fellow art student, Lorna, whom he married in 1950.

    Jewad was sent to Europe on government scholarships to further his art education, first to the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris (1938-39) and then to the Academia di Belli Arte in Rome (1939-40). The hostilities of World War II resulted in Jewad cutting short his studies and returning to Baghdad, where he began part-time work restoring Sumerian and Assyrian reliefs in the Department of Archaeology at the Baghdad Museum of Antiquities. He also taught at the Institute of Fine Arts, where he founded the sculpture department.

    During this wartime period in Baghdad, Jewad and a group of Iraqi artists became acquainted with several Polish officers who were painters, two of whom had studied with Pierre Bonnard. The Polish artists introduced the Jewad and his artist friends to the latest European styles and concepts, leading Jewad to comment in his diary that, after discussion with the Poles, he understood the importance of colour and its application; and only then was he able to fully understand the works of European artists such as Rembrandt, Goya and Cezanne.
    The portrait of Mrinalini can be compared to a portrait of a young girl that sold at Sotheby's dated to circa 1950 (Sotheby's, Contemporary Art. Arab and Iranian Art, London, 4th October 2011, lot 97), but probably done during the artist's time in London at around the same time as the present lot.

    In composition and technique, Nalini is demonstrative of the influence of 20th century European art on Selim's work, and in particular the palette and textural quality of post-impressionists like Cezanne and Toulouse Lautrec. Demure yet empathetic. Nalini recalls the sombre portraiture of Lautrec, with its linear, painterly strokes giving emphasis to contour over detail, and the distinct gaps between brush-strokes evoking the freedom and spontaneity of drawing.
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, check with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveler's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
* Import low rate

VAT on imported items at a preferential rate of 5% on Hammer Price and the prevailing rate on Buyer's Premium.

Contacts
  1. Nima Sagharchi
    Specialist - Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 8342
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 8283
Similar Items