Nazem al-Jaafari

Born 1918

Nazem Al Jaafari was considered the founder of impressionism in Syria. Al-Jaafari studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Cairo between 1944–1947, after which he returned to Syria and worked as an art instructor for high school students, then moved to teach at the Faculty of Fine Arts upon its opening in 1960 in Damascus One of his greatest achievements as an artist is the documentation of the old quarters of Damascus as it existed at the turn of the twentieth century, subjects included Architecture, lifestyles, designs, and fashion.
His body of work consists of over 7000 portraits — all still part of the artist's collection as he rarely sells his work.
Nazem Al Jaafari was one of the pioneer impressionists of Syrian painting. Impressionism remained the most popular style in Syria both before and after the Second World War. Al Jaafari was a recluse and seldom sold any of his work because he was hoping to preserve his work in a museum for the future generations.
His work was eventually collected by the Museum of Damascus and by several private collectors. Recently a few of his works were auctioned at Bohnam's Dubai in 2008 and at Ayyam Auctions in 2010.
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