Saliba Douaihy was one of the most important Lebanese artists in the twentieth century. Early in his career he painted naturalistic landscapes, which gradually became more abstract, a tendency which was to accelerate on his departure from Lebanon in 1950, when he travelled to New York, becoming a member of the Colour Field movement, whose other artists included Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and Clyfford Still.
Although highly abstracted, elements of his early interest in landscapes remain in his later paintings. With their flat planes and crisp colours, often evocative yet not always descriptive of Lebanon's mountains and coastline, Douaihy describes these landscapes in the most minimal of means. In the present lot, the broad expanse of blue with a crowding of yellow, green and ochre below, is instantly recognizable as a Lebanese sea view. Seen from a high vantage point, the high horizon of the sea dominates the picture plane, with the land by the shoreline shown in an almost aerial view.