• International Modern & Contemp auction at Christies

    Sale 7804

    International Modern & Contemporary Art

    27 October 2009, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel

  • Lot 38

    Tahia Halim (Egyptian, 1919-2003)

    The Water Carrier

    Price Realised  


    Tahia Halim (Egyptian, 1919-2003)
    The Water Carrier
    signed and dated 'T.Halim 1959'; signed and dated in Arabic (on the reverse)
    oil on board
    39½ x 28¾in. (100 x 73cm.)
    Painted in 1959

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    This is a rare early example of Tahia Halim's mature work, dated 1959, predating her trip to Nubia in 1962. This phase in her work began a year earlier when, following the tripartite attack on Egypt during the Suez Crisis of 1956, Tahia, along with several of her contemporaries, strove to create new styles and themes which expressed their feelings of solidarity in the face of foreign aggression. From this period her work showed a new seriousness, drawing her subjects from ordinary Egyptians, depicted with a certain intensity and immediacy.
    Having worked first in an Egyptian Impressionist style in the 1940s, Tahia moved to Paris early 1949 and began to paint in a much looser Fauvist style in the early 1950s, following her return from Paris. Her work from this period was characterized by strong non-descriptive colour and child-like outlines. However, her mature style, from 1958 onwards, took on Expressionist traits- proportions were slightly distorted and colours heightened, the result more naturalistic and powerful than her previous Fauvist style. These features were combined with the iconography of Upper Egypt and with Coptic elements in her later works.

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    Pre-Lot Text