Comic art by Hussein Amin Bikar

Hussein Amin Bikar (also written as Hussein Amin Bicar) was a prominent artist from Egypt. He was born in Alexandria and graduated from the Cairo School of Fine Arts in 1933. He was an art teacher at schools and universities for more than sixty years. He is known for both his fine art and his illustrations for the press, and as the first Arabic illustrator of children's books.

He developed himself as a painter of folkloric scenes, and as a teacher in elementary and secondary schools. He also taught in Morocco at the inviation of the Moroccan government, and traveled extensively throughout Europe and Africa. Back in Egypt in 1943, he became the assistant of his former professor Ahmed Sabry, and eventually became the chairman of the school's painting department. Bikar has taught the majority of a generation of Egyptian artists, thus his influence is immense.

He additionally worked as an illustrator, making drawings for 'The Stream of Days' by Taha Hussein, the first illustrated book published in Egypt. He subsequently wrote and illustrated many children's books, and was the founder of the children's magazine Sindibad in 1952. He was the magazine's main artist, together with the Italian artist Mario Morelli di Popolo. Bikar illustrated covers as well as the comic series 'Chaddad & Aouad', which he made in the tradition of the French Épinal prints.

From 1945, he was also an illustrator with the newspaper Akhbar Al-Yom, where he eventually landed a job as foreign correspondent in countries like Ethiopia, Syria, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Spain. In this occupation, he produced illustrated reports for world circulation until 1962. He also established himself through his portraits and oil paintings depicting graceful peasants, Nubian scenes or Pharaonic themes.

Sindibad coverSindibad cover by Hussein Bikar

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