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    Sale 7802

    International Modern and Contemporary Art

    29 April 2009, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel

  • Lot 7

    Fateh Moudarres (Syrian, 1922-1999)

    The Icons of Moudarres

    Price Realised  


    Fateh Moudarres (Syrian, 1922-1999)
    The Icons of Moudarres
    signed and dated 'Moudarres-62' (lower right); signed, dated and titled 'FATEH MOUDARRES 1962 The IKONS of MOUDARRES' and in Arabic (on the reverse)
    oil and gold leaf on canvas
    50¾ X 29in.(130 x 69.5cm.)
    Painted in 1962

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    The Icons of Moudarres is an important early work of the Moudarres, drawing as it does, many of the elements which recur in his later paintings. In its constructive composition it is quite exceptional, symbolizing as it does the three main monotheistic religions in Syria with the Cross, face of Christ, Tablets of Law, and veiled faces.
    This work displays the clear influence of Syrian icon painting in its composition and use of gold leaf, but here is combined with aspects of ancient Near Eastern art, the square-shaped heads of the figures recall those of Assyrian statuary, and those of the figures in Palmyrene frescos, and also of early Christian iconography.

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    Pre-Lot Text


    Dr. Rudolf Fechter (1912-1990) was a journalist and a diplomat and an avid art collector. He was a leading editor at the Rheinischer Merkur in Cologne before he entered the foreign office. In his first position he was a cultural and press attache at the German
    Embassy in Mexico City. Later he became German Ambassador in Syria (1959-63), in Ethiopia (1969-73) and in Ireland (1973-77). He and his wife Maria were very interested in the ancient and modern art of the countries they lived in. In Ethiopia, for example, Rudolf Fechter developed a deep knowledge in Ethiopian icons and crosses.

    Durinng Fechter's posting as German Ambassador in Damascus between 1959 and 1963, the young Fateh Moudarres returned to Damascus, in 1961 after completing his studies in Rome, where amongst other things, had recently met the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.
    Moudarres soon met Rudolf Fechter and his wife Maria and they became close friends.

    Rudolf Fechter realized the great artistic power in the works of Moudarres "He has an elementary and delicate sense of colours, his paintings have a new suggestive, mystical, sometimes lyrical expression. Moudarres is one of the first artists in the Near East who has searched to establish a connection to the universal development of the art and thus to find a synthesis between his oriental roots and international artistic concepts of his time.Moudarres is a universal artist and his art has a universal validity. His paintings also reflect deep humanity."

    Fateh Moudarres often said to viewers of his paintings "It looks childish, but it is not childish. In my paintings one can see, how much I love human beings, in my art I stand near them, when the power of fate and oppressive structures beset them" Rudolf Fechter supported this painter and bought many paintings from him. One of his daughters took lessons by Moudarres and learned his special technique in small works on cardboard, while scratching in wax crayon. The artist made these charming miniatures with dedication often as a present to his friends.

    The larger works by Moudarres acquired by Fechter were shown in the German Embassy rooms in Damascus, later in the embassies in Addis Ababa and Dublin. When Walter Scheel (formerly German minister of Foreign Affairs and later President of the Federal Republic of Germany) saw these paintings, he enthusiastically began to buy works of Moudarres himself.

    Moudarres and the Fechters stayed in contact, even after the Fechters had left Syria. They moved to Paris in 1964, and in 1969 Moudarres came to Paris to study at the Ecole de Beaux Arts.
    In 1977 Rudolf Fechter arranged an exhibition in Bonn, Kultur Forum, Bonn Center, entitled Art from Syria today, which showed about 70 oil paintings together with collages, gouaches and wax crayons were, including all four paintings in presented in this sale. The Icons of Moudarres featured prominently in the brochure. Rudolf Fechter himself wrote the preface.

    After Rudolf and Maria Fechter had passed away, Moudarres wrote in a letter "In Damascus they were my only parents. "


    Bonn, Kultur Forum, Art from Syria Today, 1977 (illustrated in the brochure)