Lot Details

"Skeleton" (1968) is a museum-level, highly important and early oil painting by revered South Asian artist Sadequain. (Pakistan, B. 1930-1987). A large human skeleton sits at the center of the canvas with knees bent, its white angular bones glow against the dark, ominous background. Heightening the intensity of the painting, a black snake slithers out of one of the skeleton's eye sockets, underscoring the ephemeral nature of life and heightening the emotional and psychological intensity of the painting. Painted in 1968, this is a very exciting, early Museum-level painting, due to its large scale, early date and singular theme, as this is the only known painting by Sadequain with a human skeleton as the primary subject. The artist's paintings are held in the permanent collections of elite Private and Museum Collections in the world, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (NY) and The Mohatta Palace Museum, amongst others.

Syed Sadequain Ahmed Naqvi , known as "Sadequain" (b. Pakistan 1930) also often referred to as Sadequain Naqqash, was a world-renowned Pakistani artist, best known for his skills as a painter and a calligrapher. Sadequain died on February 10, 1987 while painting in Karachi at the young age of 57 after falling off of a ladder. He is considered one of the finest painters and calligraphers Pakistan has ever produced. He was commissioned in his lifetime to paint many monumental murals throughout South Asia, with his murals adorning some of the most famous buildings in India, Pakistan and The Middle East including the halls of State Bank, Frere Hall Karachi, Lahore Museum, Punjab University, Mangla Dam, Aligarh Muslim University, Banaras Hindu University, Indian Institute of Geological Sciences, Islamic Institute in Delhi, and Abu Dhabi Power House to name a few. The major 700 page book “The Holy Sinner: Sadequain” was recently published, as the third stage of a monumental project with the same title, and is the largest solo-artist project to-date in South Asia, taking place under the auspices of The Mohatta Palace Museum.

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The seller has recorded the following condition for this lot:
Date: Unavailable – contact Specialist for details
Area: Image
Notes: condition report notes minor cracking due to age of the painting.
Degree: Minor
Is it Stable? Yes
Notes: according to condition report, copies available upon request,
Date: Unavailable – contact Specialist for details
Area: Other area
Notes: general fading due to age graded as minor on condition report
Degree: Minor
Original Stretchers/Strainer
Paint Loss
Date: Unavailable – contact Specialist for details
Area: Other area
Location: Other location
Notes: some flaking of paint.
Degree: Minor
Surface Abrasions
Date: Unavailable – contact Specialist for details
Area: Other area
Location: Other location
Notes: Minor surface abrasions noted on condition report.
Degree: Minor

Definition Key
Image The central image area, composition, or focal point; the area inside the margins/plate marks.
Margin Areas bordering the central image, outside the plate marks, or the perimeter area.
Edge The farthest edge of the object.
Verso The reverse/back of the object.

Minor An existing condition which generally does not involve risk of loss.
Moderate Noticeable damage, increasing in severity and/or size; should be monitored or corrected by a conservator.
Major Distinct, recognizable damage; the stability of the work is questionable and risk is a factor. Requires the attention of a conservator.
Extreme Advanced and severe damage; work is insecure and at great risk.

  • The Artist. Present Collection, Pakistan.
  • Pickup Location: Pakistan
  • Shipping Dimensions: 48 x 36 in. (121.92 x 91.44 cm.)

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