20th Century Art / Middle East

20th Century Art / Middle East

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 17. La Moisson (The Harvest).

Inji Efflatoun

La Moisson (The Harvest)

Lot Closed

March 29, 02:17 PM GMT


10,000 - 15,000 GBP

Lot Details


Inji Efflatoun

1924 - 1989

La Moisson (The Harvest)

signed and dated '66

oil on board

40 by 56 cm. 15¾ by 22 in.

framed: 49 by 65 cm. 19¼ by 25½ in.

La Nuova Pesa Galleria d'Arte, Roma
Private collection (acquired directly from the above in 1967)
By descent

Inji Efflatoun (1924-1989) was a pioneering Egyptian painter, whose practice was deeply connected to her involvement in feminist and Marxist movements. Born in Cairo to an aristocratic family , she displays an early interest for painting, and studies under the mentorship of artist Kamal ElTelmissany. He introduces her to surrealist and cubist movements, and Efflatoun finds herself as an early participant of the “Art and Freedom Group” exhibitions, along other intellectuals and artists exploring themes of surrealism . In 1942, she joins the Iskra, a Communist youth party. From this point on, her political and social engagement grows exponentially, sometimes at the expense of her artistic career. In 1945, she creates the Rabitat Fatayat à jami'wa al ma' ahid (League of University and Institutes' Young Women). In 1949, Efflatoun becomes one of the founding members of the First Congress of the First Peace Council of Egypt and later joins Harakat ansar al salam (Movement of the Friends of Peace). After the 1959 repression, she remains to be one of the only Egyptian artists to be imprisoned for more than four years, following which she decides to dedicate herself to painting. Previously, her work had been leaning towards social realism. After her liberation, however, her style is described as becoming lighter and merrier, as she uses bright colour to represent daily scenes of life in the countryside. Referred to as a “bucolic tapestry of freedom” (Egypt Today), her paintings from this period are said to convey the sense of liberation and hope she felt as she left prison.

This painting depicts the harvest season in Kafr Shokr, near her family’s home and farm. While revealing of Efflatoun’s persisting marxist inclinations for workers’ life conditions despite her recent traumatic experience, this peaceful composition also denotes a newly found appreciation for the simple things in life.

Egypt Today, 15 Feb 2016. Brushes Of Freedom: Remembering Artist Inji Efflatoun. Accessible at: https://www.egypttoday.com/Article/6/3032/Brushes-Of-Freedom-Remembering-Artist-Inji-Efflatoun