“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”

–Salvador Dali


Sadequain’s works reminds one that academy does not always produce genius. Genius, mostly, is god-gifted.


Known as the Picasso of the east, Sadequain was born in 1930 in Amroha, India. However, after partition he chose Pakistan his new homeland. Sadequain was a self-made and self-taught painter. It was Sadequain’s genius to create amalgamations of paintings and calligraphy. Critics regard him as a mix of Picasso and Michelangelo. Le Monde once commented, “The multiplicity of Sadequain’s gifts is reminiscent of Picasso.” However, a closer observation of some of his works also shows similarity with the work of Salvador Dali. Probably, he is the only artist where surrealism manifests itself in calligraphy.

As Dali and Picasso painted scenes of Cervantes’s masterpiece, Don Quixote, Sadequain was obsessed with the poetry of Ghalib, Iqbal, and Faiz. However, Iqbal finds more mention and space than any other poet in his artistic creations. He was expert in painting murals. Buildings like Lahore Museum, Frere Hall Karachi and State Bank are some of the buildings where master’s strokes are still there, reminding the visitors the genius of the Sadequain – who wore many feathers on his hat.