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Laila Shahzada

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Laila Shahzada
Died20 July 1994 (age 68)
Cause of deathKilled in gas explosion[1]
OccupationPainter Artist
Years active1960-1994
Known forPaintings about the culture of Indus Valley civilization in Pakistan

Laila Shahzada (1926 – 20 July 1994) was a Pakistani abstract painter who lived and worked in Karachi, Pakistan.[2]


Laila Shahzada was born in Littlehampton, England in 1926.[3] After completing her basic education in England, she decided to become a painter-artist and trained initially in England in drawing and watercolour. Later, she trained under the artist, Ahmed Saeed Nagi, in Karachi who taught her how to use oils.[4] She held her first solo exhibition at the Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi in 1960.[3] Using artifacts of Indus Valley civilization in Pakistan as models, she made a series of paintings reflecting the culture of this ancient civilization. These paintings were shown at an exhibit at Karachi in 1976. In 1986, she participated in a group show at the Shorouks International Gallery, Regent Street, London. A total of 60 to 70 paintings were done by her before hear death. She was killed in a gas explosion at her studio on 20 July 1994.[3][1][5]

Personal life[edit]

Shahzada married twice in her life. She had a son and a daughter from the first marriage, Sohail and Shahien. After separation from her first husband, she was given custody of their son and the first husband got custody of their daughter. She remarried and had another son, Zahir, in the second marriage but could never emotionally get over the loss of her daughter, Shahien. Later, she did a painting titled Mother and child. Some friends and art critics said that the painting was a reflection of her own pain as a mother.[6]

"Laila Shahzada was a sensitive, disturbed and powerful artist whose brush had immense flow and impact", said Naeem Tahir, director-general of the Pakistan National Council of Arts in 2005.[1][3]


Laila Shahzada died in a gas explosion in her studio in Islamabad, Pakistan on 20 July 1994.[1][3]

Awards and recognition[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "KARACHI: Book on Laila Shahzada launched". Dawn (newspaper). 27 August 2005. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  2. ^ 'Homage: Remembering the maestro' Dawn (newspaper), Published 15 Sep 2013, Retrieved 1 March 2019
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Death anniversary of painter Laila Shahzada today". SAMAA TV website. 20 July 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Profile of Laila Shahzada". Pakistan Post Office (Archived). Archived from the original on 20 January 2008. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  5. ^ Revisiting the mistress of art Dawn (newspaper), Updated 28 December 2014, Retrieved 1 March 2019
  6. ^ Minerwa Tahir (27 December 2014). "With love, from art collectors: Remembering Laila Shahzada's sensitivities and inclinations". The Express Tribune (newspaper). Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Laila Shahzada: Art in Pakistan: Top Ten Painters of Pakistan". Pakistan 360 degrees website. 28 November 2011. Archived from the original on 4 August 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2019.

External links[edit]