Born 1944, Najaf, Iraq
Hassan Massoudy, inspired by the calligraphy on monuments in his hometown of Najaf, went to Baghdad in 1961 to become an apprentice calligrapher. In 1969, he moved to Paris, where he studied figurative art and painting at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In spite of his exposure to other styles and subjects, Massoudy continued with calligraphy, creating covers for Arabic magazines, and in 1972, began performing in public with the comedian Guy Jacquet and musician Fawzi Al-Aiedy. In 1975, he returned to the art of calligraphy, introducing colour and broader strokes into his work.
He has held regular exhibitions since 1980, and has published over twenty books. His calligraphic pieces have accompanied a number of texts and poems drawn from world literature - including the work of medieval Sufi mystic writer Ibn 'Arabi, philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and the poet Charles Baudelaire.