The Kurdish Painter Daniel Qassab (1913 – 2000)
Daniel Qassab is a wellknown Kurdish painter. In addition to painting, he worked as an art teacher in different schools. He was born in 1913 and died in the year 2000. He was very much interested in his job as in his favorite carrier. He raised many art teachers who held his torch and continued the mission of their inspiring teacher.
Daniel Qassab was a Jewish. His students included famous personalities like Bapeer Pirdawd, Jawad Rasul, Naji Fuaad and the famous poet Dildar. At the same time, he was one of the painters that his boundaries of work trespassed Hawler. For example, in 1941 he went to Baghdad and cooperated with (Friends of Art) and Red Cross, and showcased his works in the city. In 1948, he became a teacher at the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad. But during the 1950s, he was deported to Israel because of his religious origin.
The artist shifts from a natural into a well developed academic painter after he completes his studies at the Institute of Fine Arts. Not only paint- ing, but he designed many background decorations for the plays which were shown in Hawler. Among his famous works are: Hawler Citadel, Ubaid vil- lage’s chieftain, and Choli Minaret.
If we take a look at his works, Qassab treated his work much realistically, especially in his land- scape paintings and the Kurdish clothes. It seems that the realistic school of art welcomed by people because they could easily understand it. That’s why Qassab’s works have been appreciated by so many. The Choli Minaret is one of the examples of Qassab’s works.Daniel had good contacts with his fellow artists. He had relations with those artists and students who were in Baghdad as well.
The form in his works was inspired by the Kurdish culture and ancient sites, as it could be seen in his drawings of Hawler Citadel, Choli Minaret. And in nature, he’s directly transformed the mountains of Kurdistan, villages and the daily activities of villagers to his drawings in an academic manner. Portrait painting was also one of the important themes of Qassab’s works.
Remembering the name of the Kurdish painter Daniel Qassab has its special importance for the history of Kurdish painting in Southern Kurdistan.
Drawing of Erbil Citadel – Daniel Qassab