Who is Mohammed Racim? Google Doodle pays tribute to Algerian artist

The search engine honours the painter with an illustration on what would have been his 125th birthday

Algerian artist Mohammed Racim has been honoured with a Google Doodle to celebrate what would have been his 125th birthday on June 24. Courtesy Google
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Google paid tribute to Algerian artist Mohammed Racim in one of its signature Doodles.

An illustration of the painter can be seen on the search engine's homepage on Thursday, to celebrate what would have been his 125th birthday on June 24.

The regional Doodle can be viewed in Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman and, of course, Algeria.

Racim, who died in 1975, is seen holding a paintbrush in the illustration, as he poses against a background reminiscent of the painting techniques he is renowned for.

Who was Mohammed Racim?

Racim was born on June 24, 1896 to a family of distinguished artisans in Algiers. He began working in a drawing office at 14, where he copied the designs of carpets, copper ornaments, wood sculptures and Arab embroideries.

Each of these helped influence his craft but it was his introduction to Persian miniatures, an ancient form of literary illustration, that formed the foundation for his artwork.

In 1914, he met French Orientalist painter Nasreddine Dinet, who later commissioned Racim to create original illustrations for one of his books.

Throughout the years, Racim continued to focus on creating vibrant miniatures. He fused traditional Persian and Mughal painting techniques to reinvigorate Maghrebi cultural customs, helping redefine the global outlook on the Arab world through art.

One of his paintings, 1931's The Rais, features a 17th-century Algerian captain in a piece that measures just under one square foot, an example of how his art helped revitalise Algerian pride, which was key in the country's independence movement.

In 1933, he became the first Algerian recipient of the Grand Artistic Prize of Algeria. By the late 1930s, he became a major figure in Algerian culture. Along with his brother Oman, who was also an artist, the duo founded the Algerian School for Miniature Painting, which still exists to this day.

Today, much of his personal collection is displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts in Algiers.

What are Google Doodles?

Google Doodles feature sporadically throughout the year, transforming Google’s traditional logo into an animation to pay tribute to an important figure or moment in history. The doodles can also mark seasonal or celebratory events, such as International Women's Day.

Click through our gallery below to see other regional Google Doodles: