Safiuddin Ahmed

Safiuddin Ahmed
Born (1922-06-23)23 June 1922
Calcutta, British India
Died 20 May 2012(2012-05-20) (aged 89)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Occupation Artist

Safiuddin Ahmed (23 June 1922 20 May 2012) was a Bangladeshi artist.[1]


Ahmed was born on June 23, 1922, in Bhabanipur, Kolkata. His father, Matinuddin Ahmed, was a sub-registrar in the land office of the Government of Bengal and his mother, Bibi Jamila Khatun, was a housewife. Three generations of his family had lived in their paternal homestead in Bhabanipur. Ahmad's paternal grandfather, Aminuddin Ahmed, was a popular doctor in Bhabanipur. Aminuddin Ahmed was known as "Bachu Daktar" by the local residents. The road in front of his house was named "Bachu Daktar Lane" after Aminuddin Ahmed's death under the initiative of the Kolkata municipality. Ahmed's father died when he was young. He grew up under the care of his paternal uncles and his mother.


In 1936 he was admitted to the Calcutta Government Art School, a rarity for Muslim children. At that time, education in art school was generally viewed as vocational education in Bengali society. In 1958 he completed the diploma courses in printmaking from the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London with distinction.


Ahmed was the pioneer of printmaking in Bangladesh. He, along with Zainul Abedin and others, played an important role in the foundation of the Dhaka Art College (now the Institute of Fine Arts of Dhaka University.[2]).

He was employed in Prahlad Karmarkar’s studio. In one early painting there, he departed from pure narration to add his own perception and variation in the etching.

Ahmed helped raise the profile of a printmaking, a discipline often considered of secondary importance, by adopting it as his main medium. He inspired many other artists from the subcontinent to begin printmaking.

Though Ahmed had been born and brought up in the city, he selected the landscape and life of the people in particularly remote areas of Radha Vangaand Jharkhand as the setting of his works.

In the oil paintings Sunlit Hut, Dumka-1, Dumka-2 and Dumka ShalForest done in 1946, he applied the pigment in strokes like the Impressionists; and did not create sfumato by mixing paints.


He died at Square Hospital in Dhaka on May 20, 2012.


  1. "Curtain falls on Safiuddin Ahmed". 2012-05-21. Retrieved 2012-05-28.
  2. Artist Safiuddin Ahmed's 85th birth anniversary today The Daily Star, 23 June 2007

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