Acclaimed Pakistani artist Shahid Jalal passes away at 72

Shahid Jalal

Born in 1948, Jalal was the brother of Pakistani- American historian Ayesha Jalal.

All of his masterpieces are inspired by nature. Most of his finest work displayed the vivid colours of landscapes, gardens and flowers.

The ‘Pride of Performance’ recipient dedicated himself to art after his retirement. Jalal was an accountant by profession.

Eminent painter and printmaker Nazish Ataullah said words could not describe how sad and gutted she was upon hearing the news.She said Jalal had joined the National College of Arts (NCA) as a mature student, the same time as herself in the 1970s.

“He was simply passionate about painting; his mentor was our teacher Khalid Iqbal. Even though his profession was that of a chartered accountant, he thought it would be good idea to spend a year here. But even after that he went back to his profession. Still he continued to paint avidly and was dedicated to it,” said Ms Attaullah.

She said Shahid Jalal was never one of those who were commercially driven artists.

“So many of his paintings were just given away,” she remembers. “Once he painted the entire outside portion of an old house that belonged to Tahira Mazhar Ali, from every angle. He gave away the entire proceeds of that exhibition to the Citizen Foundation schools,” she said.

Ms Attaullah informed that Mr Jalal was related to Saadat Hasan Manto through marriage and also through his mother who was a relative of Safia Begum. Jalal himself had married Nusrat, Manto’s daughter. One of his sisters is [scholar] Dr Ayesha Jalal. “He came from a very esteemed, educated and cultured family.”

She said Shahid Jalal painted in an impasto manner having evolved his own way of paintings mostly of gardens, flowers and monuments.

In her write up for ‘50 years of Alhamra’ Dr Mussarat Hassan says Shahid Jalal (was) one of the most outstanding members of the Association who has no art qualification from any institution and therefore had never been mentioned in their context. “He has developed a style of his own which is executed with thick impasto brush strokes, the surface being further divided to form a subtle pattern in his patiently executed landscapes, in which the sunlight and shadows are the other striking elements of the larger design,” she wrote.



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