Ali Hussein Darwish (Tanzanian/British, born 1936)
Forest, 1971
Signed ‘A. Darwish Jan. 1971’ (lower right)
Watercolour on paper
34.5 x 29.5 cm

Ksh 400,000-530,000
(US$ 3,750-5,000)
Sold Ksh 587,000

Provenance: private collection of Geraldine Robarts

Professor Ali Hussein Darwish was born in Zanzibar, into a family of Persian miniature painters. He began his artistic career at the Margaret Trowell School of Fine Art in Kampala, studying Painting. In 1961 he received a scholarship to go to the Slade School of Art and, later from 1965 to 1966 he undertook a research course at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. In 1963 Darwish returned to Uganda and became Professor of Art History at Makerere University. He drew and painted the Ugandan forests and lakesides, creating both fantastically imaginative and acutely observational studies on location. When Idi Amin came to power in 1971, Darwish left Kampala for Tehran.

His watercolours and prints have been exhibited at the Nommo Gallery, Uganda Museum and at Gallery Watatu in Nairobi in the 1960s, as well as in Nigeria, Portugal and London.

Though examples of his prints have come up for sale at international auctions, original paintings are not often on the market. This is a special, highly collectable and very rare watercolour.