Fahr-el-Nissa Zeid

Princess Zeid was born in 1901 in Istanbul, Turkey into a distinguished Ottoman family of diplomats, intellectuals and artists. She was one of the first women to attend the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul and, after graduation; she travelled to Paris to continue her studies at the Académie Ranson. When Zeid returned to Istanbul, she associated herself with a circle of young Turkish artists known as the D Group.

The D Group, founded in 1933, was not representative of any particular artistic idea but welcomed new trends coming from both the Oriental and the Western world. Zeid’s paintings blend influences of all kinds but they are mostly defined as abstract and usually non-figurative. Her first solo show was in 1944 and was soon followed by exhibitions in London and Paris. Her great debut is considered to have taken place in 1950 when she presented her large-scale abstract paintings at the Hugo Gallery in New York. After the show, she participated in approximately fifty exhibitions around the world. Following her husband’s death in 1975, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she taught at the Royal Art Institute and established the Fahrelnissa Zeid Institute of Fine Arts. The artist passed away in 1991.