Artist biography

S. Fyzee-Rahamin 1880-1964

Indian painter of portraits, figures, landscapes and murals, dramatist and poet. Born in Poona. Studied at the School of Art, Bombay, and for four years at the RA Schools in London under John S. Sargent and Solomon J. Solomon. First painted portraits in oils in the manner of Sargent, but after his return to India in 1908 soon abandoned this style in an attempt to revive the tradition of Moghul painting. Art adviser from 1908-18 to the State of Baroda. Changed his faith from Judaism to Islam and his name from S. Rahamin Samuel to S. Fyzee-Rahainin in 1912 on his marriage to Atiya Begum of the Fyzee family, an authority on Indian music. Lived in Bombay, exhibited with the Bombay Art Society. First European one-man exhibition at the Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 1914. Painted frescoes for the Imperial Secretariat, New Delhi, in 1926-7 and 1928-9. Assisted the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Metropolitan Museum, New York, in the reorganisation of their oriental sections. Also wrote plays and poems. Spent his last years from 1947 in Karachi, Pakistan, where he died. The collection of his own paintings and other works of art which he presented to the Aiwan-e-Riffat Museum in Karachi is now housed in a separate building as the Fyzee Rehamin Art Gallery.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.229