This rare and picturesque landscape is one of only two paintings by Mahmoud Said depicting Lebanon to have been offered at public auction.
Recognised as one of Egypt's most innovative modern masters thanks to his departure from traditional subject matter and his nationalistic vision, Mahmoud Said is most celebrated for his representations of Egypt and Egyptiana. As with Marsa Matrouh and Venice, this intimate painting is a record of his travels outside of Egypt and the places that were of personal significance to him, providing a rare insight into his private life.
Said made frequent trips to Lebanon with his friend and confidante Dr Elkayem, particularly during the summer months when the pair would retreat to the Lebanese mountains in order to escape Egypt's burning summers. These excursions inspired Said, and he effortlessly captures the rolling hills, rich earth and summer skies that drew him there in the first place.
Said's technique recalls the early Renaissance painters whose background landscapes consisted of interlocking mountain ranges, drawing the eye from the fore- to the background. In utilising this long-standing technique Said exhibits his Italian training, as well as an intuitive realism that conjures up the tranquility of the Lebanese countryside and highlights the mastery of his art.
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