The Google Doodle for today, Saturday, April 23, honours Naziha Salim, a painter, lecturer, and one of Iraq's most renowned modern artists. Her paintings frequently use strong brushstrokes and vibrant colours to show rural Iraqi women and peasant life.
Salim was born into an Iraqi artist family in Turkey, where her father was a painter and her mother was a brilliant embroiderer. All three of her brothers worked in the arts, according to Google, including Jawad, who is widely regarded as one of Iraq's most significant sculptors. "She has always liked creating her own paintings."
Salim studied painting at the Baghdad Fine Arts Institute and received a diploma with honours. She was one of the first women to be offered a scholarship to continue her study at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris as a result of her hard work and enthusiasm for painting. Salim majored in fresco and mural painting while in Paris. She continued to live abroad for several years after college, immersing herself in art and culture.
Salim later returned to Baghdad, where she taught at the Fine Arts Institute until her retirement. She was an active part of Iraq's arts community and one of the founding members of Al-Ruwwad, a group of Iraqi artists who study abroad and incorporate European art techniques into their work. Salim wrote Iraq: Contemporary Art later in her career, which was a significant resource for the early growth of Iraq's contemporary art movement.
The today's doodle is an appropriate homage to Salim's painting style and dedication to the arts. Salim holding a brush and her art, which has traditionally focused on rural Iraqi women, are combined in today's doodle.