Clara Quien Art

Clara Quien Art

  • Clara Quien was an outstanding female artist of the 20th century.
  • Her work is now of historical interest.
  • She created classical and modern art.
  • Clara held 36 exhibitions in Europe, the USA and India.
  • She belonged to Art Societies in Europe, India and the U.S.A.
  • Clara sculpted 500 portrait heads, 30 full-figure portraits and ca 30 pieces of modern art.

Clara was a humanitarian and worked with passion for the suppressed or disadvantaged in society, beyond the separation of nationality, creed or race.

About Clara Quien

01.04.1903 -13.02.1987 Born in Bromley, Kent. She had British and Dutch nationality.

Quien studied sculpture under the Florentine Maestro Andreotti already at the age of 16. Later she undertook further studies in Paris. Amsterdam and Berlin. By 1935, when she motored out to India with her future husband, she has already exhibited in various European countries and had many commissions. Quien worked swiftly, caught a good likeness and her work was lively.

Public Work Life size statues

  • ‘Bellum Diabolicum Est’ in Holland, which was destroyed by the Nazis
  • ‘Love One Another’ a pitá Gandhi Museum Garden in Maganwadi, Avia, India.
  • Mahatma Gandhi’ Life Size statue from sittings. Gandhi Memorial Museum Washington DC.
  • ‘The Active Buddha’ First prize at ‘All India Exhibition’ in Mumbai in 1952
  • Equestrian Shah of Iran
  • Twelve bronze panels Mehrabad Airport, Teheran, Iran

Portrait works

These include, amongst many other:

Two busts of Mahatma Gandhi, Lord and Lady Mountbatten, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishan, Jivatram Kripalani, Dr. K. Nyerere and his wife, the Shah of Iran and his twin sister Princes Pahlavi Ashraf, the Maharaja of Patiala, Dr. Ida Scudder and Dr. Maria Montessori, Yehudi Menuhin.

Abstract sculptures and paintings

In later life Quien created abstract sculpture and painting, stimulated by her capacity for synaesthesia and her dreams. Among the composers whose music she modelled were Mozart, Brahman, Schubert, Stravinsky, and Dittersdorf. Jazz, folk songs and sounds from nature also stimulated her creativity.

Other sculptures

Quien’s love of nature expressed itself in a large number of sketches of wild and domesticated animals. Quien modelled sculptures animal portraits, including a life size statue of the polo pony of the Maharaja of Palatial. She was fascinated by people in the many countries she visited and made sketches.she encountered.


Quien came from a European family, mainly French Huguenot, Dutch and German. Possibly, depending on space and lay-out include CFQArms.jpg Her father and husband both were Dutch and she had dual British and Dutch nationality. She grew up in Switzerland and China, where her family lived for many years. Her father was Financial Director of a European Engineering Company, which built a port at the estuary of the Yellow River.

As a freethinker, Quien appreciated the diversity of humans, but saw humanity as one – beyond the separation of nationality, creed and race. Already in the 1950 she foresaw the impending ecological crisis. In her old age she supported wildlife organisations and movements to help the poor in India.


Art inspired by experience of synaesthesia:

‘A simple expression of her humanitarian concern’
Clara Quien in Old Age
(Please click on image to read text)

In 1960 a friend of the family created an amateur video of Clara’s artwork. She models a bass relief of the friends daughter.