Kayyali's paintings of fishermen and boats from his last period were all painted in Arwad, the only inhabited island in Syria. A well-known fishing town, it remains a popular and relaxing place for residents larger cities to visit. Kayyali often passed through whilst he was convalescing. It was during this period that his figures took on a more monumental appearance. In the same year he was commissioned to create a mural for the National Museum of Damascus 1976, considered his final masterpiece.
In this painting the silenced figure, gazing at the empty distance, turns his back to the sea. Oversized, he fills all available space in the canvas, with no freedom to move. The effect is almost architectural, the figure large and heavily poised resting on a strong base, reminiscent of the Egyptian pioneer sculptures (for an example, see lot 33).