Hassan El Glaoui
Prolific Moroccan painter Hassan El Glaoui has a formidable portfolio of artwork that seeks to capture the cultural essence of his homeland, with particular emphasis on the bond between a horse and its rider. Painting horses and Tbouriba form a natural part of El Glaoui’s practice because of his early exposure to the equestrian lifestyle. In Moroccan cultural tradition, Tbouriba refers the practice of horse riders charging simultaneously while aiming their jezails (long-barrelled rifles) toward the sky.
Despite opposition from his father, a powerful pasha named Thami, El Glaoui began painting in his teens and, following art education in France, he held his first show in 1952 in Paris. He then returned to Morocco in 1965, concentrating on painting horses.
El Glaoui regards his work as a “living mirror of the past and the traditions which are still the essence of the Moroccan spirit”. “My love of my country has been the defining spirit of my painting. I have recorded our ancestral roots, the flowers in the Valley of the Kasbah and the red Cherifian palaces, the royal courteges with their long lines of white burnouses and the mounted cavalry and their horses,” El Glaoui said in an interview carried by Yacout in 2009.
Numerous exhibitions have showcased El Glaoui’s acclaimed work, including in Paris, New York, Brussels, London and Casablanca.