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THE COLLECTION OF DR. RUDOLF AND MRS. MARIA FECHTER
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. "
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE LATE AMBASSADOR RUDOLF AND MRS. MARIA FECHTER
Bonn, Kultur Forum, Art from Syria Today, 1977 (illustrated in the brochure)