About Sadequain

Critically acclaimed artist and poet Sadequain is among only a handful of Pakistanis whose name and work would transcend through centuries.

Sadequain’s contribution to the field of arts is enormous, his contribution to the field of literature is immense, and his contribution to the nation is unparalleled and unsurpassed by academic standards or in its monetary value. He did not simply produce ordinary paintings to earn a living, but painted monuments and donated all to mankind. If sold in current market, his work is worth more than billion dollars, but he owned no worldly possessions at the time he passed away in 1987. He died penniless. And that is exactly what he wanted.

The newspaper Le Monde of Paris, France commented in its April 1964 edition: “The multiplicity of Sadequain’s gifts is reminiscent of Picasso.”

The Khaleej Times of UAE published in its June 20, 1980 edition a story titled: “Renaissance of Islamic Calligraphy. A mystic artist from Pakistan, who has become a legend in his own time.”

Sadequain’s monumental murals are an unparalleled body of artistic genius in. The number and surface area of his murals exceeds that of Michelangelo and Diego Rivera combined. If he had done only his murals, even then he would have been the greatest artist of the region.

The Urdu language book published in India, Tanqeed-e-Rubai, called Sadequain the greatest modern day poet of the genre.

It is estimated that Sadequain painted more than 15,000 pieces of artwork consisting of murals, paintings, drawings, and calligraphies.

He composed thousands of quatrains and published them in four volumes titled Rubaiyyat-e-Sadequain Naqqash, Rubaiyyat-e-Sadequain Khattat, Bayaz-e-Sadequaini, and Juz-way-Bosida.

In Pakistan, Sadequain’s murals adorn the SADEQUAIN Gallery located at the State Bank of Pakistan Museum in Karachi, Power House at the Mangla Dam, ceiling of the main entrance hall of the Lahore Museum, Islamic Gallery at the Lahore Museum, Punjab University, Punjab Public Library, ceiling of the Galerie SADEQUAIN at the Frere Hall in Karachi, and many more venues.

Overseas, his paintings are in the collection of New York Metropolitan Museum, Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Museum of Modern Art in Paris, and other venues. His murals are on permanent display at the Aligarh Muslim University in India, Indian Institute of Islamic Research in Delhi, Ghalib Institute in Delhi, Banaras Hindu University in India, National Geophysical Research Institute in India, Power House Um-ul-Naar in Abu Dhabi, and many more venues.

Sadequain was awarded Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, Pride of Performance, Sitara-e-Imtiaz, Australian Cultural Award, and Gold Mercury Award. He won first prize at the All Pakistan National Exhibition of paintings, and Laureate Biennale de Paris.

SADEQUAIN – An Overview

Legendary Artist and Thinker: Painted more than 15,000 pieces consisting of gigantic murals, intriguing paintings, innovative calligraphies, exquisite drawings, and composed thousands of introspective quatrains.

Murals: Introduced monumental murals to the visual vocabulary of the country. Painted more than 45 murals, most of which are now housed in Pakistan, India, the Middle East, Europe, and North America. These murals represent an unparalleled body of artistic genius by any artist of the region. Most murals were donated to public institutions. Several have been destroyed.

Paintings: Prodigiously prolific, his palette included thousands of figurative works embodying universal subjects and Eastern forms. He introduced Pakistani art to the international art forums.

Le Monde et La Vie, Paris, France

April 1964

“The multiplicity of Sadequain’s gifts is reminiscent of Picasso.”

Calligraphy: Re-defined the script of calligraphic art and was responsible for the renaissance of painterly calligraphy in Pakistan.

Khaleej Times, UAE

June 20, 1980

Renaissance of Islamic Calligraphy. A mystic artist from Pakistan who has become a legend in his own time. The remarkable story of Sadequain, who did not seek but was endowed with divine inspiration.

Drawings: In his book IMAGE and IDENTITY, Dr. Akbar Naqvi wrote, “If Sadequain had done nothing but his drawings, he would still be considered one the innovators of modern art in the country.”

Poetry: Sadequain wrote thousands of rubaiyyat (quatrains) and illustrated many of them in his four volumes of Rubaiyyat-e-Sadequain. The confluence of three genres — composition, inscription and illustration of rubaiyyat — is a singularly unique creation in Urdu literature. His rubaiyyat are a mirror to the society and expose the true face of hypocrisy.

Philanthropist: Sadequain considered it repugnant to sell his work and gave away much of it, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars, if sold, to individuals and institutions. A large amount of his work was misappropriated.