Jelal Ben Abdallah

Jelal Ben Abdallah (Tunisia, 1921 – 2017) was born in the picturesque Mediterranean town of Sidi Bou Saïd. Ben Abdallah studied in Tunis and his early illustrations appeared in the first Tunisian feminist periodical Leïla in the 1930s. He participated in the Salon Tunisien in 1942 and 1945, and established an atelier in Montparnasse in Paris in 1952. Associated with the École de Tunis, he adapts miniature painting to create finely detailed representations of quotidian life, idyllic women, surrealist imagery, horses, marine creatures, and ethereal seascapes. From 1950 he also received state commissions to make decorative ceramic tile panels for civic buildings. Ben Abdallah has exhibited in Tunis and abroad since 1939 and his contribution to Tunisian art was celebrated by a solo exhibition in 2010 at the Galerie Atrium in Carthage entitled ‘Femmes, je vous aime!’.