Abdullah I bin al-Hussein

Portraits - Arab 1

Abdullah I bin al-Hussein (1882 – 1951)

Changi POW Camp set up a functional library, see https://changipowart.com/archives/1070. One of the books in the collection was Lawrence of Arabia. While in Changi, Major Frank Murray read this book. It is likely Des also read this book & painted these caricatures, who were Lawrence’s close friends, from the book.

SOURCE: The Belfast Doctor, The POW Diaries of Dr Frank Murray, 3rd April 1942, https://www.thebelfastdoctor.info/_files/ugd/de8c94_c0ff2ef5904249b0ba2feeaf61574bee.pdf

The original portrait in pastel was completed by Eric Kennington (1921) & appears in several books of Lawrence of Arabia, which Des must have accessed somehow in Singapore. Des has carefully reproduced this prominent figure in watercolour in 1942. Perhaps this was a book scavenged from Singapore & placed in the Changi Library?

‘Abdullah I bin al-Hussein King of Jordan February 1882 – 20 July 1951 British guerrilla Thomas Edward Lawrence of Arabia.

Between 1916 and 1918, he played a key role as architect and planner of the Great Arab Revolt against Ottoman rule that was led by his father Sharif Hussein. Abdullah personally led guerrilla raids on garrisons and commanded the Arab Eastern Army.

Abdullah’s relations with the British Captain T. E. Lawrence were not good, and as a result, Lawrence spent most of his time in the Hejaz serving with Abdullah’s brother, Faisal, who commanded the Arab Northern Army.

February 1882 – 20 July 1951) was the ruler of Jordan and its predecessor state, Transjordan, from 1921 until his assassination in 1951. He was Emir of Transjordan from 11 April 1921 to 25 May 1946 under a British mandate, and was king of an independent nation from 25 May 1946 until his assassination.

Source: Original Painting: ‘Seven Pillars of Wisdom’, Author: T.E. Lawrence (1888-1935),  A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook; Wikepedia.