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    Sale 7477

    International Modern and Contemporary Art

    31 October 2007, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel

  • Lot 40

    AHMED MOUSTAFA (EGYPTIAN, B. 1943)

    Qur'anic Polyptych of Nine Panels

    Price Realised  

    AHMED MOUSTAFA (EGYPTIAN, B. 1943)
    Qur'anic Polyptych of Nine Panels
    each signed in Arabic and dated
    oil, watercolour and pastel on Velin Arches hand made paper (seven panels); oil, watercolour and pastel on canvas (two panels)
    each 40 x 40in. (102 x 102cm.)
    Overall 120 x 120in. (306 x 306cm.)
    Painted in 1995


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    The essence of this work is based on the text of the last three suras in the Holy Qur'an. They are as follows:
    "In the Name of God the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful. Say: He is the One God: God the Eternal, the Uncaused Cause of All Being. He Begets not, and neither is He begotten; and there is nothing that could be compared with Him."
    Sura 112

    "In the Name of God the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful. Say: I seek refuge with the Sustainer of the rising dawn, from the evil of aught that He has created, and from the evil of the black darkness when ever it descends, and from the evil of all human beings bent on occult endeavours, and from the evil of the envious when he envies."
    Sura 113

    "In the Name of God the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful. Say: I seek refuge with the Sustainer of men, the Sovereign of men, the God of men, from the evil of the whispering, elusive tempter who whispers in the hearts of men - from all [temptation to evil by] invisible forces as well as men."
    Sura 114

    Sura 112 is known as Al-Ikhlaas ('The Declaration of (God's Perfection)) . As reported in a great number of authentic traditions, the Prophet was reported to describe this sura as "equivalent to one-third of the whole Qur'an". The other two suras were revealed together and having become associated with one another are called the "Two Incantations", since both start with "I seek refuge....".

    By putting these three suras in a square, 3 x 3, the work attempts to shed different lights on the mysteries of the hidden treasure in the Divine expression. By seeing three different conditions for each the suras it becomes possible to create a visual metaphor enabling the viewer to examine each sura in three alternative environments in a way allegorical to our different state of understanding of this Divine content according to the growth of our comprehension.

    On an abstract level, the visual energy of seeing the sheer volume of these nine panels in close vicinity to one another, is meant to create lasting repercussions on both visual and sensory levels.

    This work was exhibited for the first time during Ahmed Moustafa's exhibition, invited by the Vatican, in 1998, to break unprecedented ground as the first ever exhibition of its kind in the history of Islamic/Christian relationships.

    Exhibited

    Vatican, Pontificia Universitas Gregoriana, Where the Two Oceans Meet, 1998