She was born into a wealthy Ottoman family and when she was growing up she experienced how the Turkish Republic rose. She also had an interesting name: Fahrelnissa.
Zeid was born in 1901, in Turkey when Turkey was still the Ottoman Empire. Her family members were mostly artists too, so she had a promising background in arts and culture. She was only eight when she started to paint. At the age of 14, she drew a watercolor portrait of her grandmother. Even in her early years, she was deeply interested in art.
She was one of the first female students in Sanay-i Nefise Mektebi (Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University.) After graduating from Sanay-i Nefise Mektebi, she went to Paris for higher education in painting.
After her education, she lived in different cities including Istanbul, Berlin, and Paris. She quickly became a successful painter in the 1930’s and 1940’s. In 1954 her work was exhibited in the Institute of Contemporary Art.
Not only for us, but also for art critiques too, defining Fahrelnissa Zeid’s style is always tricky and complicated. We can see Islamic, Byzantine and European influences on her artwork. Even though her early work is mostly made up of abstract paintings, she painted lots of portraits in her late career in Jordan too. She died in 1991 in Jordan.