Sadequain and the Culture of Enlightenment

ISBN : 9780199066483

Akbar Naqvi
216 Pages
180 x 240 mm
Pub date
Feb 2016
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Although the artist Sadequain was commonly regarded as a modernist, the author, who is well known as an art critic and connoisseur, suggests that his art was most modern when he was traditional, and strictly traditional when modern. This prolific and versatile artist was a khattat (calligrapher), book binder, master of drawing, painter, and poet. Thus, in himself, he was a one-man traditional guild of the Muslim art of the Middle Ages, in which all of the above disciplines were in fact practised by different skilled persons. He thus revived the memory of this tradition in a modern visual vocabulary and syntax which would appeal to the people and stir their memory of loss, at the same time reinvigorating their pride. In his poetry, too, Sadequain reverted to the traditional, painting the tragedy and ecstasy of love for a universal beloved, typical of the Urdu ghazal. Thus, he created cathartic works of great pleasure in each of the traditional disciplines of Muslim Art. Each of the essays in this book opens a window on Sadequain and his roshan khayali, or enlightened culture, the culture of the enlightened people of the northern subcontinent, in Dr Naqvis interpretation of modern art.


List of Images
1. Framing Sadequain: Malamati or Holy Sinner?
2. Sadequain and Khattati
3. Sadeqians Khuskhati in Line Drawing
4. Sadeqains Robayi
5. Chughtai and Sadequain
6. Sadequain and Shakir Ali
7. Shahid Sajjad and the Beginning of Time
8. Alberuni and Amir Khusro: Beacons of Enlightenment

About the author: 

Akbar Naqvi holds a PhD in English Literature from Liverpool University. He taught at Patna University from 1954 to 1956 and from 1959 to 1962. He has taught European Art History at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture from 1990 to 1995; and has lectured on Pakistani Art and Sculpture at National College of Art, Lahore, from 2000 to 2005. In addition he has written regular art and architecture reviews for the daily Sun; Dawn, Muslim; and Herald. Dr Naqvi has delivered lectures both in Pakistan and abroad on Modern Art and Sculpture, including to the Royal Asiatic Society, London, 1996; University of Manchester and Metropolitan University of Manchester, 1996; and the Brunei Art Gallery, SOAS, London, 2000. Two of his books, Image and Identity: Painting and Sculpture in Pakistan 19471997 (1998; 2nd edition: 2010) and The Making of Art: The Pakistan Story (2000) have been published by Oxford University Press, Pakistan.

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