The art history student

one piece of art a day
keeps the doctor away (*I can't guarantee anything though)


Lalla Essaydi

Lalla Essaydi (Moroccan, b.1956) is a painter and photographer. Her work focuses on the Arab female identity in a 19th-century Orientalist style. She is well-known for hand-drawn Arabic calligraphy paintings done with henna on different types of surfaces, such as fabric, bodies, and even walls. Her style reflects her training and expertise in constructing intricately set Figurative compositions.

Inspired by 19th-century Orientalist works, Essaydi is known for paintings that combine Islamic calligraphy and representations of the female body with Western painting traditions. She frequently addresses the complexities of female identity in the Arab traditions from a personal perspective. Her works are a reflection of her Moroccan girlhood, depicting a woman caught between the past and the present. Her paintings explore Orientalist mythology through imagery from a Modernist point of view.