Biography of an Iraqi creator
The Iraqi plastic artist Hafez Al-Droubi is considered one of the founders of plastic art in
Iraq, and he was a member of the Friends of Art assembly formed by the famous artist Jawad Selim.
Al-Droubi was born in 1914 in the Mahdia district of Baghdad. He was called “The Painter of the City” due to his affection to Baghdad city. His first artistic appearance was in 1931.
Hafez Al-Droubi was considered the first artist who established a free studio in Iraq in 1942. He headed the group of (the Iraqi Impressionists), which he founded in 1953. His paintings were calm, and realistic that have conveyed beautiful and happy picture of Iraqi community at that time.
Al-Droubi began his formal art education at "Accademia Reale" in Rome. He was the first Iraqi artist deputed to study art abroad. Later, he got his BA from Goldsmiths College, University of London in 1950. Then he returned to Iraq to join the modern art movement to raise the art practice level in Iraq. Besides, the Free Studio, he opened other studios of the same kind at the College of Arts and Sciences in Baghdad University.
Throughout his artistic career, Al-Droubi exhibited his paintings in various countries, and extensively exhibited his works with all the groups he belonged, including the Friends Communty of Art and the Impressionists. As for his personal exhibitions, he held at least three of them, in 1941, 1951 and 1972. He also exhibited his works at Ibn Sina Gallery in Baghdad in 1952. He participated with various Iraqi group exhibitions in Europe and with the “Exhibition of Contemporary Iraqi Art” in Beirut in 1965.
Al-Droubi won several awards which indicate his key role in establishment of Modern Iraqi Art. In addition to the numerous awards he received from the Iraqi Plastic Artists Association, he was one of four artists honored at the Al-Wasiti Festival held in 1972.
As a result of a brain stroke Al-Droubi passed away on 23th January 1991