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Egyptian painter's hand-crafted colours keep tradition alive

Reuters , Wednesday 16 Jan 2019
Artist, Hassan el-Shark
Artist, Hassan el-Shark, paints a piece of art with his own handcrafted colours near the 'City of the Dead' in Minya Governorate, Upper Egypt January 8, 2019. Picture taken January 8, 2019. (REUTERS)
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Egyptian artist Hassan el-Shark's paintings of village life, created from the mud, grass and leaves he finds around him, are treasured in Egypt for keeping a traditional skill alive.

He painstakingly crafts his own colours, applying them with tiny brushes to his intricate outlines of people and forms, which have found international acclaim.

"The making of colours is a very simple process. I did not come up with it myself. I took it from the creator's world, from nature, a little from the mountains and the greenery, and then I made the material that fixes the colours," he said.

Artist, Hassan el-Shark, paints a piece of art with his own handcrafted colours, at his gallery in M
Artist, Hassan el-Shark, paints a piece of art with his own handcrafted colours, at his gallery in Minya Governorate, Upper Egypt January 8, 2019. Picture taken January 8, 2019. (REUTERS)

"It is what makes a painting last for thousands of years."

Mohamed el-Gebaly, director of Cairo's Kortoba Art Gallery, said Shark is generally regarded as one of the most important artists in Egypt.

Artist, Hassan el-Shark, paints a piece of art with his own handcrafted colours, at his gallery in M
Artist, Hassan el-Shark, paints a piece of art with his own handcrafted colours, at his gallery in Minya Governorate, Upper Egypt January 8, 2019. Picture taken January 8, 2019. (REUTERS)

"He not only expresses the beauty of Egypt and the East, but he also represents a condition that we miss," he said.

"He is reviving heritage. He is reviving things that we might have lost over the years." 

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