Jamil Naqsh

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Jamil Naqsh
Born(1939-12-25)25 December 1939
Died16 May 2019(2019-05-16) (aged 79)
London, England
United Kingdom

Jamil Naqsh (Urdu: جمِیل نقش), (25 December 1939 – 16 May 2019) was a British Pakistani painter who lived a reclusive life in London from 2012 until his death.[1] He briefly studied at National College of Arts but left before obtaining a degree. His work has been described as idealized and sensual.[2][3][4]


Jamil Naqsh was born in Kairana, British India in 1939, and later moved to Karachi, Pakistan.[1] In his early teens, he had the experience of travelling alone through Chittagong, Calcutta and Colombo. He learned a lot about life during that harsh journey. He also gained a great respect for the art traditions of the past while travelling. This journey's impressions later influenced his thinking and work.[3]

Naqsh trained as a miniaturist under former National College of Arts professor Ustaad Haji Sharif in Lahore beginning in 1953.[3][2] He left the National College of Arts without completing his degree as he felt it was the experience not the qualification that was important.[3] He left Pakistan in 2012 and settled in London, United Kingdom.[5][6]

On 7 May 2019, due to pneumonia, Naqsh was admitted to St Mary’s Hospital in London,[7] where he died nine days later at the age of 79.[2]


Naqsh mostly painted pigeons. He also painted women, often integrating them with the elements of horses, pigeons or children. He grew up seeing pigeons flutter around in his courtyard; thus, much of his work included drawings of pigeons.[1] He set up his Karachi studio in a rooftop garden where pigeons were allowed to move around freely and were welcomed as visitors.[3]

Naqsh was influenced by the works of Indian, Pakistani and European masters, including Pablo Picasso and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.[8] In June 2012, an untitled piece by Naqsh was sold for about PKR 6.3 million at Bonhams.[9]

Art exhibits[edit]

Some of his exhibits are listed below:

Naqsh also painted Islamic calligraphy in his modern style with unique and bold brush strokes. His calligraphic style maintained the basic elements of art, with special emphasis on 'line'.[3] Since 1996, the Jamil Naqsh Foundation and Museum have been run by his family members in Karachi, Pakistan.[1][2] In December 2017, the Jamil Naqsh Museum was inaugurated by Aitzaz Ahsan in Defence Housing Authority, Karachi.[12][13]

Awards and recognition[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Jamil Naqsh: A treat for art lovers The Express Tribune (newspaper), Published 14 May 2012, Retrieved 17 May 2019
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h 'Memories of Doves and Pigeons', Profile, awards and paintings of Jamil Naqsh on albemarlegallery.com website Retrieved 31 August 2017
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Profile of Jamil Naqsh on studioglass.co.uk website Retrieved 17 May 2019
  4. ^ Works of Jamil Naqsh on albemarlegallery.com website Retrieved 17 May 2019
  5. ^ Dawn.com (16 May 2019). "Iconic artist Jamil Naqsh passes away in London". DAWN.COM.
  6. ^ "Famous Pakistani artist Jamil Naqsh passes away in London". www.thenews.com.pk. 16 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Jamil Naqsh hospitalised in London". Dawn. 15 May 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d Pakistan's top contemporary artist holds solo show in London Dawn (newspaper), Published 27 July 2011, Retrieved 17 May 2019
  9. ^ "Gulgee painting auction sets record at Bonham". The Express Tribune. 14 June 2012.
  10. ^ "Iconic artist Jamil Naqsh passes away in London". Dawn. 16 May 2019.
  11. ^ "Jamil Naqsh's painting exhibition inaugurated". The Express Tribune. 30 December 2018.
  12. ^ "Jamil Naqsh Museum opens its doors". The Express Tribune. 19 December 2017.
  13. ^ "Jamil Naqsh Museum in Karachi is the antidote to antiquity". Herald. 9 January 2018.

External links[edit]