top of page


He was born in Baghdad to an Iraqi father, the late Fathi Safwat Kirdar, a sculptor and painter.

Safwat studied fine arts and art history in the USA and received his PhD in Islamic art history from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.​

Landscape painting is a theme that has always interested Safwat. The landscape of the UAE has been his inspiration during the 13 years that he has been residing in Dubai. The dunes and their sweeping plains, majestic skies, and the elusive effects of light, are his most distinctive and fascinating painting subjects. 


The artist, working entirely in oils, has developed his own style in private, a pictorial language for the landscape gradually interweaving realistic and imaginary motifs. He has carved out a career as a noted scholar of Islamic art and the calligraphy of the Muslim world as a celebrated author, broadcaster and lecturer on Islamic art history. His subsequent interest moved towards the art of calligraphy, on which he has written widely. His books include The Art of the Pen, Harmony of Letters, Golden Pages and A Collector's Eye.

bottom of page