Hikmet, Mohammed Ghani (1929–2011) By Floyd, Tiffany Renee
Mohammed Ghani Hikmet is considered one of Iraq’s most prolific artists and influential modern sculptors. Hikmet is best known for his monumental sculptures that dot the cityscape of Baghdad. Many of his works, like The Fountain of Kahramana and Scheherazade and Shahrayar (1917), have become emblematic of Iraq itself.
After graduating from the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad in 1953, Hikmet traveled to Rome to attend the Accademia di Belle Arti. While in Italy, he also studied bronze casting at the Instituto di Zaka in Florence. After returning to Baghdad, Hikmet taught at the Institute of Fine Arts and the College of Architectural Engineering at the University of Baghdad. He also became involved in several Baghdadi art groups, most notably the Baghdad Group of Modern Art. Hikmet also assisted in the creation of two major public works taken on under other prominent Iraqi sculptors. He oversaw the casting of Jewad Selim’s massive figures for the Monument to Freedom. Following Selim’s premature death in 1961, Hikmat supervised its completion. Similarly, upon the death of the sculptor Khalid al-Rahal in 1987, Hikmet had to finish the work on the contested Arch of Victory.