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The Artists

Chaïbia Talal1929 — 2004

“A message of hope to all women”

“A message of hope to all women”

Some people experience too much, too young. Chaïbia Talal was only 13, living in the small village of Chtouka near El Jadida, Morocco, when she was forcibly married to a seventy year old man. A year later she became a mother, and the year after that her decrepit husband died and left her a widow at 15 years old. For the next ten years she worked as a maid to support her son, El Houcine, and was known as mahboula—the crazy girl, for her dreamy nature.

It was her dreams that saved her. At age 25, strangers came to Chaïbia in a dream and offered her pens and leaves to draw on. Inspired, she took to painting. Unschooled in the arts, her paintings were raw, colorful and deeply expressive. At first, her work was poorly received in Morocco, and she was derided as a naïve artist. In 1966, after more than a decade of painting, her career took wings. She was featured in an exhibition at the Goethe Institute, in Casablanca, where her work was noticed by the international art world. The same year she showed work at the Solstice Gallery and the Salon des Surindépendants at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, and over the next two decades exhibited in Denmark, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

Chaïbia Talal passed away from a heart attack in 2004, but not before her work was renowned for it's joyful portrayal of women in loving color. In 2015 the Moroccan filmmaker Youssef Britel directed a biography called "Chaïbia, The Peasant of the Arts", which he hoped would be "a message of hope to all women, through the story of Chaibia, who overcame all obstacles that stood before her to reach glory."

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Face

Face

1970

Woman with earrings

1970
Portrait of a woman in red

Portrait of a woman in red

1970
Women in Prayer

Women in Prayer

1970
1901
The prince of pop
Andy Warhol
The joy of pure color
Helen Frankenthaler
Chaïbia Talal
Ancient saints in a monochrome world
Stelios Votsis
Coming in from the cold
Ibrahim El-Salahi
2019