Pakistan lost one of their iconic artists of almost 6 decades today, after being hospitalised after a case of serious pneumonia at St Mary’s Hospital since the 7th of May.
Jamil Naqsh was a modernist whose subject was the poise & grace of the natural form – his female form was innocent yet sensuous. His doves and pigeons, evocative. He was known for his calligraphy, pigeons and figurative paintings. The artist was from the same generation of the likes of Sadeqain, Masud Kohari, Ahmed Pervez & Bashir Mirza.
Born in Uttar Pradesh in the late 1930s, his home was often frequented by artists, musicians and actors alike. He later moved to Pakistan and joined the National College of Arts where he had a keen interest in miniature paintings, but soon dropped out to become a serious student of Ustad Mohammed Sharif, a dedicated miniaturist.
In 1980, he was awarded the Shakir Ali Award. The Arts Council of Pakistan awarded him in 1982 to commemorate 20 years of his contributions to art. The President’s Pride of Performance and the Artist’s Association of Punjab Award for Pursuit of Excellence in 1989 and later in 2009, the Sitara-i-Imtiaz.
His death was confirmed by Shahneela Ahmed, director of public relations and communications of the Jamil Naqsh Museum. “It is with a heavy heart that family of Jamil Naqsh has to announce the demise of this esteemed artist from the world. There has never been an artist more connected to his roots of culture. Every piece of his art was a story within itself. We request for your prayers for his soul.”
Messages of admirers and mourners paying their respects have been pouring in nationwide since the news broke:
A giant of Pakistani art, Jamil Naqsh has passed away in London. Inna lillahe wainna alehe rajeoun. pic.twitter.com/PGEPA2AxFe
— Hasan Zaidi (@hyzaidi) May 16, 2019
— shahneela (@AhmedShahneela) May 16, 2019
— Hasan Jafri (@HasanJafriREAL) May 16, 2019
— Sonya Battla (@SonyaBattla2) May 16, 2019
— Tapu Javeri (@tapujaveri) May 16, 2019
He had been settled in London for the last 10 years and found his resting place there. May he rest in eternal peace.