DUBAI: Google has created a doodle to celebrate the life of Algerian artist Mohammed Racim Thursday, marking 125 years since his birth on June 24.
The doodle can be seen in Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, Lebanon and Algeria.
Born in 1896, to a family of established artisans in Algiers, Racim’s first exposure to art was a stint working in a colonial drawing office when he was 14, where he copied the designs of carpets, Arab embroideries, copper ornaments, and wood sculptures.
While these helped develop his art, it was an introduction to the ancient form of illustration - Persian miniatures – that became the foundation for his work.
From then onwards he developed his own personal hybrid form of expression through miniatures – combining traditional materials, classical arabesque and calligraphic styles - but used them to frame figurative inserts that had modern features.
He was still a teenager when he became established, decorating with calligraphic plates.
Racim’s main customers were businessmen and government officials.
By 1930, Racim's vibrant miniatures were making the rounds, elevating him to a major figure in Algerian culture.
Racim reinvigorated Maghrebi cultural customs while redefining the global perspective of the Arab world through art.
Racim’s art helped revitalize Algerian pride, playing an instrumental role in the North African country’s independence movement.
As with most of his work, Racim's “Women at the Cascad” illustrates an imagined past, before the arrival of the French colonizers at a time when the indigenous people ruled their lands freely.
His memory lives on today, with much of Racim’s personal collection displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts in Algiers.
And the Algerian School for Miniature Painting he founded with his brother, Omar – remains open.