Pecheurs a Rosette, Mahmoud Saïd
Throughout Egypt, Mahmoud Saïd is known as the father of modern Egyptian painting. Now, two of his masterpieces will be going to auction for the very first time as part of the Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art sales at Christie’s in Dubai.
Both of these works originated from a private Egyptian collection which is closely related to Saïd’s family. Most excitingly, one of the paintings - El Zar
- has never been exhibited in public before, while the other, Pêcheurs à Rosette
has not been available to the public since it left the display in the Alexandria retrospective in 1964.
The latter is one of the artist’s most renowned works. Rich in Egyptian scenery, the painting depicts Egyptian fishermen unloading their fish by the Nile. Pêcheurs à Rosette
was painted in 1941 and is estimated to sell for $400,000-$600,000.
The never-before-seen painting, El Zar
, is an oil painting created in preparation of a larger composition from the Museum of Modern Art of Cairo which features musicians and a dancing group who are performing a religious ritual. This painting is expected to sell for approximately $150,000-$200,000.
According to Michael Jeha, managing director of Christie’s Middle East, the large auctioneer company is very thankful to have the opportunity to present and sell both of these pieces to the public.
'Pêcheurs à Rosette
is one of very few Saïd’s masterpieces left in private hands and we are honoured to have been entrusted with it along with El Zar as the highlights of our October sale,' he said
This is not the first time Christie’s has sold work by the famous Egyptian painter. In 2010, Saïd’s 1929 painting The Whirling Dervishes
sold for a record-breaking $2.4 million in Dubai.
'Pêcheurs à Rosette
is the largest work ever to have appeared at auction by Saïd, and is equal in quality to The Whirling Dervishes
,' Jeha said.
Born in Alexandria, Saïd commonly painted images from the places where he grew up. After studying to become a lawyer, the artist did not take up painting seriously until he was 50 years old, although he had already created a strong body of work by this stage.
Many of his works are currently housed at the Modern Art Museum at the Cairo Opera House. Egyptians might soon be seeing more of the artist’s works as his home in Alexandria undergoes the construction that will transform it into the Mahmoud Saïd Museum, which will house all of the artist’s works as a permanent collection.
The Christie’s sale will be taking place on 23 and 24 October at the Emirates Tower Hotel in Dubai. Pre-sale viewing will also be available.