Sadequain Masterpieces

State Bank Museum & Art Gallery

State Bank of Pakistan has the significant honour of being the repository of Sadequain's fairly important and unusual work. The advent of Sadequain's paintings & artwork in the State Bank began with construction and inauguration of its present majestic and graceful building during 1961-63.

The Mezzanine Floor of the State Bank Museum is dedicated to Sadequain Art Gallery. The Main Hall displayed three huge Murals and five metal collages made by Sadequain for SBP. On left hand side one can see the Photographs of Sadequain & his family and biography of Sadequain. The room on the left side displays one Mural, classification of Sadequain's work, decade wise display of Sadequain's artwork starting from 50's to 80's till the last sketch done at OMI Hospital, Karachi three days before he passed away.

It is his first large mural (8ft X 61ft) celebrating the intellectual achievements of man, and depicts 46 major figures divided into five main sections.

Starting from the first pre-historic man drawing a circle, the painting goes on to include the portraitures of prominent philosophers and intellectually towering figures.

In the middle he drew a self portrait; the frail figure of Sadequain showing his pulse to Hakim Al Razi.

He has used lighter and brighter colors, with healthy, robust figures, happily engaged in their pursuits of industry and agriculture and striving for the knowledge of earth's treasures and mysteries of the skies.

INDUSTRY & AGRICULTURE - I (6.5ft by 12ft)
This one also deals with Industry & Agriculture. The right side shows the ripening fields of agriculture & left shows the industrial progress.

The Laboratory of Natural Universe was executed by Sadequain in 1961 to adorn the then new building of State Bank headquarters. It was done by scratching the paints with a knife to highlight its features which needed extreme care and patience.

A distinctive feature of Sadequain's artwork in the State Bank of Pakistan is the collection of collages, worked in wood and metal. He did it exclusively for the Bank. This kind of work by him is nowhere else to be seen. Sadequain made them especially to adorn and beautify the huge pillars of the vast Banking Hall of the SBP Karachi office's public dealing floor. On the background of wooden frames, Sadequain worked miracles twisting iron, copper and steel into artist's fertile imagination of figures of hope, aspiration and conquest. The running theme of these collages seems to be people's endeavors and progress in industry, agriculture, pursuit of knowledge and conquest of nature.

Size: 8ft by 4ft

3ft 4.5in by 8ft 3in

3ft 5in by 8ft 1in

8ft 1in by 3ft 3in

2ft 10in by 8ft 1in

We are including publications in Sadequain's artistic contribution to the State Bank of Pakistan; as a number of publications of the decade of 60s to 70s have been adorned and glamorized by Sadequain's seemingly effortless efforts. The publications for the grand function of the inauguration of the then new building of the State Bank of Pakistan in Karachi in 1961 were all designed and illustrated by Sadequain.The brochure for the building called the golden brochure because of its gold color design and layout, sketches and the magnificent cover in which the whole building has been portrayed or scripted by writing Bank Daulat Pakistan in Urdu over and over again, all done by Sadequain. The invitation card of the program for the special train for the State Bank of Pakistan, which took the honored guests of foreign central banks from Karachi to Peshawar, the menus cards for dinners etc. nothing was too small for the giant of an artist which was Sadequain. When the State Bank started publishing its fortnightly house journal, its mast head was created by Sadequain. The Bank's lot of publication, statistical or financial, used Sadequain's artwork time and again with great effect.

Menu Designs for the special train for the guests of the inauguration - 1961.

Menu Designs for the Special train for the guests of the inauguration - 1961

Menu Designs for the special train for the guests of the inauguration - 1961

Menu Designs for the special train for the guests of the inauguration - 1961

Invitation Card
Sadequain's Design for SBP Central Directorate building's inauguration banquet - 1963

Sadequain was able to take the Calligraphy to unprecedented heights, his rebellious soul may be credited for it, rather than the long standing family tradition of Calligraphy. Like Ibn-e-Muqla's achievement of bringing writing to the aesthetic perfection, Sadequain took the calligraphy to the new frontiers of boldness, vibrating with life that is more enthralling than enchanting. His mixing of classical Khats (scripts) with his abstract styled writing infused a new life in calligraphic arts in the subcontinent.

Brochure issued on the inauguration of the SBP's Islamabad building - 1970.

The opening page design for the brochure produced for the Islamic Foreign Minister Conference - 1970.

Cover design for the golden brochure for the inauguration of SBP Building - 1961.

Cover Design executed by Sadequain for the brochure produced by SBP for Islamic Foreign Ministers Conference - 1970.

Credits: Story

Museum & Art Gallery Department
State Bank of Pakistan
I.I. Chundrigar Road, Karachi-Pakistan
Ph: (+92 21) 99221011 Fax: (+92 21) 99213959

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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