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Some of the paintings on display at Gallery 6 in Islamabad. – Photo courtesy Gallery6
Some of the paintings on display at Gallery 6 in Islamabad. – Photo courtesy Gallery6

ISLAMABAD, Sept 21: These rare and historic miniatures speak of a powerful medium of creativity. And the few visitors to the gallery on Friday expressed admiration for the difficult brush strokes and detail work.

On Saturday, Gallery6 will open its doors to a collection of over 40 rare miniature paintings of British and Indian royal families and rulers for art lovers.

“The paintings are 70 to 80 year-old and were done by leading artists of their times: Hafiz Sheikh Mohammad Amin and Sheikh Moin,” said the curator of the gallery, Dr Arjumend Faisel, on the preview day Friday.

According to Dr Arjumend, Hafiz Amin was born in 1850 and lived up to the age of 65 years. He established S.M. Artist Co. that specialised not only in producing paintings in water and oil colours but also in miniature paintings on canvas and ivory. His son Moin was born in 1897 and followed the in the footsteps of his father till his death in 1958.

Both father and son became well-known artists in their times. In miniatures, they mainly worked for the British and Indian royal families and rulers and made their portraits.

Among the portraits of some of the British royal figures hung on the walls are of Victoria Mary Augusta (wife of King George V), Victoria Alice Mary (the only daughter of King George V), Prince Philip (Duke of Edinburgh), Prince Andrew, Lord Curzon (Viceroy of India) and others.

Among the Indians were Kasturba Gandhi (wife of Karamchand Gandhi), several members of the Tata family, Sarojini Naidu (first Indian woman to become the president of Indian National Congress), Hakim Ajmal Khan (President of Indian National Congress), Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Sir Pherozshah Mehta (leaders of Indian National Congress), Maharaja Sarajirao Geakwad (Maharaja of Baroda), Nawab Mir Mahbub Ali Khan Bahadur (Nizam of Hyderabad Deccan), Nawab Sir Mohammad Mahabat Khanji III (Nawab of Junagadh State) and many others.

The exhibition was made possible by the great grandson of Sheikh Amin and grandson of Sheikh Moin, Sheikh Mohammad Mansoor who inherited these rare and historic impressions.

Sheikh Mansoor in statement said it was becoming difficult for him to store and preserve this asset and had now decided to let these rare miniatures be owned by the art collectors and museums.

Dr Arjumand added: “They are just stunning. One gets mesmerised by the spectacular work that reflects the meticulous skills of Sheikh Amin and Sheikh Moin in miniature painting.” Forty-three artworks have been displayed at the two-day exhibition.

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