Google celebrates Naziha Selim, a quiet Iraqi artist and a tumultuous artistic life



Today, April 23, the search engine “Google” celebrates the Iraqi plastic artist, Naziha Salim, through her doodles, “Google Doodle.” She is one of the most influential artists in the contemporary Iraqi art scene; Her works depict Iraqi rural women and peasant lives through bold, powerful brushstrokes and bright colours.

The image that Google used for the celebration is a merging of two of Naziha Salim’s paintings: the first painting is a personal portrait of the artist, and the second painting represents a rural Iraqi woman among the group of rural women that Naziha Salim painted in different paintings.

Google merged a personal portrait of Naziha Saleem and an Iraqi woman in a group of rural women that Naziha drew in different panels (Google)

first beginnings

Naziha Selim was born in 1927 in Istanbul to Iraqi parents from Mosul. At the time of her birth, her father was an officer in the Ottoman army stationed in Turkey. Then, she returned with her family to Baghdad in the 1920s.

Iraqi actress Naziha Salim (social networking sites)

Naziha Salim’s mother excelled in the arts of hand embroidery, and her three brothers also worked in various arts, including the Iraqi sculptor Jawad Salim, who is considered one of the most important contemporary sculptors of Iraq, Rashid Salim, a political cartoonist, and the artist Suad Salim, a painter and designer of the logo of the Iraqi Republic.

Naziha Saleem enjoyed making her own arts from an early age, she joined the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad where she studied painting and graduated with A.A. She was one of the first women to be awarded a scholarship to continue learning the arts at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts in Paris.


School years and back

While in Paris, Naziha Saleem specialized in mural painting, and spent several years after graduation immersed in art life and artistic culture societies, but eventually returned to teaching at the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad and continued to teach there until retirement age.

Naziha Saleem was a founding member of the Pioneer Artist Society, a community of artists who studied abroad and fused European art techniques with traditional Iraqi aesthetics. Naziha Salim did not only work in art as an artist, but also played a major role in the history of the Iraqi art movement. In 1977, she wrote a book entitled “Contemporary Iraqi Art”, which is an important reference for the development of the modern art movement in Iraq.

The life of Iraqi women in paintings

The themes of Naziha Saleem’s paintings revolve around representations of women and the family, and the life and development of Iraqi rural women. Iraq.

The topics of Naziha Selim’s paintings revolve around representations of women and the family (communication sites)

A quiet life without interference

Naziha Selim belongs to the old generation who lived his life without engaging in social media, so she lived a quiet life that made us not know much about her personal or marital details and if she had formed a family and had children, which is strange in these days when life has become The character of most artists and celebrities is shown to all.

Naziha Salim suffered a stroke in 2003 that paralyzed her. She lived 5 years later and died in 2008 at the age of 81 in Baghdad. Jalal Talabani, the sixth president of Iraq, considered her the first Iraqi woman to establish the foundations of contemporary art, and stated that her death was a great loss for Iraqi art and culture.



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