Abdur Rehman Chughtai – عبدالرحمن چغتایٔ October 12, 2010Posted by Farzana Naina in Poetry.
Abdur Rehman Chughtai (1899–1975) was a painter and intellectual from Pakistan who was best known for his “Chughtai” style of art, as well has his designs of postage stamps. He was awarded Pakistan’s Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 1960, and the President of West Germany awarded him a Gold Medal in 1964 for his accomplishments.
He died in Lahore on January 17, 1975
He was considered one of the most famous representatives of Pakistan and Chughtai’s paintings were gifted to visiting heads of states. Allama Iqbal, Pablo Picasso, Queen Elizabeth II were amongst his admirers. An estimated 25 million people saw his Wembley show in 1924.
In 1927, Chughtai published Muraqqa, his first major work, which comprised a series of illustrations he made for new edition of the thought-heavy and highly imaginative verses of Ghalib, 19th century “poet’s poet” of Urdu and Persian.
His works are displayed at the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Peace Palace (in The Hague), United Nations Headquarters, New York, the Kennedy Memorial in Boston, the US State Department (in Washington, D.C.), President’s House Bonn, Nizam of Hyderabad’s Palace, Queen Juliana’s Palace in the Netherlands, Emperor’s Palace Bangkok, President House Islamabad, Governors’ Houses in Lahore and Karachi, and the National Art Gallery, Islamabad.
Among his famous works are the logos of Pakistan Television and Radio Pakistan and his painting of Anarkali for the cover of a 1992 drama. Additionally, one of the most successful UNICEF cards features a Chughtai.
Artist and gallery owner Salima Hashmi deems Chughtai one of South Asia’s foremost painters. “He was part of the movement that started in the early part of the 20th century to establish an identity indigenous to the subcontinent,” she said. “He rejected the hegemony of the British Colonial aesthetic.”
United Nations Organization art correspondent Jacob-Baal Teshuva wrote that Chughtai’s paintings are the most set released in 1948.