Maral Rahmanzadeh 1916-2008



Maral Rahmanzadeh was an Azerbaijani graphic artist, born in 1916 near Baku, Azerbaijan. 


Rahmanzadeh is well known for her series of patriotic paintings depicting the wartime efforts of Soviet women and her works inspired by Oil Rocks, the first offshore oil platform in Baku, a theme which the artist often returned to with revised styles. Other works explore her native country, the lives of oilmen, Azerbaijan’s culture, customs and traditions. Rahmanzadeh significantly developed the Azerbaijan national school of art. ‘In Our Caspian Sea’ is one of her most notable series and other prominent works include ‘Oil’, ‘Oil Rocks’, ‘Baku’, ‘Nakhchivan’, ‘My Motherland’, ‘Azerbaijan’ and ‘Lenkeran’.


Rahmanzadeh was the first Azerbaijani to receive a professional art education, she studied at the Azerbaijan State Technical School of Arts and later at the Moscow State Institute of Arts. Rahmanzadeh was also named Artist of Azerbaijan in 1964 and received the Laureate of the State Prize of the Republic in 1965. At the Surikov Moscow State Academic Art Institute, Rahmanzadeh was taught by eminent artists; Lev Bruni, Dmitry Moor and Vladimir Favorsky. The eminent Russian artist and art critic, Igor Grabar, once described Rahmanzadeh as “a very talented Azerbaijani girl”. Throughout her career Rahmanzadeh illustrated prestigious literary works, including ‘Eugene Onegin’ by Alexander Pushkin and ‘A Hero of Our Time’ by Mikhail Lermontov.


Rahmanzadeh’s oeuvre demonstrates her understanding of the world in which she lived and highlights her ability to sensitively portray the emotions of her subjects. Her own beliefs are woven into her works with multilayered artistic expression.


Rahmanzadeh was at the forefront of Azerbaijan’s art scene and her pieces adorn many world-renowned museums and have been featured in several high profile international exhibitions in; England, France, Italy, Japan, Australia and her home, Azerbaijan. Exhibitions have included; (1957) ‘The first All-Union print exhibition’, Moscow, Russia, (2006) Q Gallery, Baku, Azerbaijan and (2016) ‘Maral Rahmanzadeh, 100th anniversary exhibition Azerbaijan’ at the National Museum of Art, Azerbaijan, Baku.