Born in Marrakech, Hassan El Glaoui was the son of His Excellency Hadj Thami El Mezouari El Glaoui, the last Pasha of Marrakesh and Lalla Zineb El Mokri daughter of the Grand Vizir Hadj Mohammed El Mokri, Hassan was destined to follow his family into politics.
Thami El Glaoui was descended from one of the oldest tribes of the Berber people. He was a distinguished horseman and military strategist, earning him the nickname, the Black Panther. He was not initially supportive of his son's desire to pursue a career in the arts.
However, Hassan's fortunes changed when one of his father's visitors, Winston Churchill, saw one of Hassan's paintings in the Pacha's office in 1943. Churchill was himself an enthusiastic artist, and stressed to Thami El Glaoui that being a painter and being a statesman were not mutually exclusive.
In 1950, Hassan El Glaoui's talent was recognised once more, attracting attention from well known international collectors such as Anson Conger Goodyear, co-founder of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Hassan was subsequently allowed to enrol in art school in Paris, where he held his first parisienne exhibition in 1951.
This intersection of political power and fine art was profoundly influential, and Hassan would leave for Paris in 1952 to devote himself to the study of art, where he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts under Jean Souverbie and Émilie Charmy, living and working in France.
Despite these tribulations, during the 1950s and 1960s, El Glaoui’s work was exhibited at some of the most prominent galleries in the world. These included Wildenstein and Hammer Galleries in New York, and Galerie Andre Weill and Petrides in Paris.
Following his father's death in 1956 shortly after the independence of Morocco, his family's wealth was confiscated. During a stay in Marrakech on May 1, 1957, he was kidnapped with three of his brothers by uncontrolled elements of Istiqlal, and remained detained for more than 18 months in different locations.
The artist did not live the life of luxury that was associated with his family’s name. He decided to exile himself back to Paris after his liberation in late 1958 living in a small house outside of Paris.
In 1964, he moved back to Morocco where he exhibited for the first time in Casablanca and Rabat, his success has not ceased since-for the artist a consecration.
Hassan El Glaoui was deeply devoted to his country of birth, and his paintings pay homage to Moroccan and Berber traditions. While his work would vary in subject overall, El Glaoui became particularly famous internationally for his depictions of Moroccan traditions.
The Artist passed away on 21st of June 2018” at the age of 94.