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Portrait of Baya, 1947.

Born in 1931 and passed away in 1998, Baya, whose real name was Fatma Haddad, was a pioneer of Algerian painting. At the age of 12, she moved in with Marguerite Caminat, a French painter in Algiers, where she began painting with gouache. In 1947, her first exhibition in Aimé Maeght’s Paris gallery attracted the attention of the surrealists. Her works, in which the effects of repetition are multiplied, incorporate recurring motifs such as female musicians and fabulous multicolored birds. She has had numerous solo and collective exhibitions in Algiers and France, and has left a lasting mark on the Algerian artistic landscape, as well as on the imagination of the Algerian diaspora, right up to the present day. In 2023, a major retrospective of her work was hosted by the Institut du Monde Arabe (Paris) and the Centre de la Vieille Charité (Marseille).