Masterpieces by Mahmoud Said to lead October auction at Christie's in Dubai

Ahram Online, Thursday 30 Aug 2012

The masterpieces El-Zar and Pêcheurs à Rosette, by Egyptian painter Mahmoud Said, will lead October's Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art Sales in Dubai

Pecheurs a Rosette (Photo courtesy: Christie

The Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art Sales will take place 23-24 October 2012 at Christie's in Dubai.

Two masterpieces by the father of modern Egyptian painting, Mahmoud Said (1897-1964), will lead the auction: El-Zar and Pêcheurs à Rosette.

According to information provided by Christie's, "both works have been consigned for sale from a prestigious private Egyptian collection in Egypt, closely related to the artist's family. They have never appeared at auction before — El-Zar has never been exhibited to the public whilst Pêcheurs à Rosette was last on public display in the Alexandria retrospective of 1964, the year of the artist's death.

Painted in 1941, Pêcheurs à Rosette is one of the artist's iconic works that is rooted in Egyptian national identity and depicts a detailed Egyptian scene beside the Nile with fishermen unloading their catch. The painting's worth is estimated at $400,000-$600,000.

El-Zar is a rediscovered preparatory oil painting for a larger well-known composition from the collections of the Museum of Modern Art of Cairo. The painting presents a group of people dancing and playing music as part of a religious ritual. The work's value is estimated at $150,000-$200,000.

In previous years, a number of Mahmoud Said's works were auctioned at Christie's, always reaching high sales prices.

In October 2010, Said's Whriling Dervishes sold for $2,546,500 against a pre-sale esimate of $300,000-$400,000, setting a world record for the sale of a painting from a Middle East artist.

During the two day Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art Sales that took place in October 2011, Petite fille d’Assiout, painted in 1945, was sold to a private collector for $650,000 against a pre-sale estimate of $250,000-300,000, becoming the second highest artwork sold at the auction.

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