• International Modern & Contemp auction at Christies

    Sale 7804

    International Modern & Contemporary Art

    27 October 2009, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel

  • Lot 145

    Mahmoud Said (Egyptian, 1897-1964)

    Self Portrait

    Price Realised  


    Mahmoud Said (Egyptian, 1897-1964)
    Self Portrait
    signed 'M.SAID' (lower left); titled and dated 'portrait de Mahmoud Bey Said 1931' (on the reverse)
    oil on canvas
    24½ x 19¾in. (62 x 40cm.)
    Painted in 1931

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    This is a rare self portrait by Mahmoud Said, widely considered as among the finest of all artists to have come from the Middle East. In it we can see much of his characteristic intensity.
    Born to an aristocratic Alexandrian family which lived in Anfoushi district in Alexandria, near Al-Moursi Abu'l-Abbas Mosque, his father, Mohammed Said Pasha, Egypt's Prime Minister and uncle of Queen Farida, was a keen supporter of culture and arts. Studying first in law, and rising to high office, Mahmoud Said later dedicated himseld soley to his painting.
    Mahmoud Said's great innovation was the adaptation of the Western painting techniques to express an individual and national character. This is a dominant characteristic in his work from the late 1920s onwards. During these years the National Egyptian Movement flourished as did the formation of an 'Egyptian' character for Egyptian art.

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    Pre-Lot Text