Youssef Kamel (Egyptian, 1890-1971)
Lots are subject to 5% import Duty on the importat… Read more PROPERTY OF THE PHAROS ART COLLECTION, CAIRO
Youssef Kamel (Egyptian, 1890-1971)


Youssef Kamel (Egyptian, 1890-1971)
signed in Arabic, signed, inscribed and dated 'Youssef Kamel Roma 1928' (upper left)
oil on panel
34½ x 40in. (87.5 x 101.5cm.)
Painted in Rome in 1928
Private Collection of the Artist's family, Egypt (acquired directly from the artist).
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2007.
Cairo, SODIC Sales Centre, AC&C Art Fund Collection, 2010.
Special notice

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Lot Essay

A significant figure of the first generation that pioneered Modern art in Egypt, Youssef Kamel championed the eloquence of compositional elements in his works that were Impressionist and Expressionist in style. Having studied at the Egyptian School of Fine Arts, he was offered a grant to study in Rome where he was exposed to a plethora of cultural history and artistic production that continued to influence his works until his death. Notably, he produced a rather large selection of paintings that captured the Italian countryside and cityscapes that attracted his attention.
Upon his return to Egypt in 1922, Kamel moved to the rural suburb of Matariyya. He devoted himself to painting the Egyptian villages and their inhabitants in their daily life and environment, while maintaining his strict Impressionist style. The present work is a strong example from the artist's oeuvre which captures a young peasant woman holding a basket as she roams through the fields. Kamel does not provide a distinctive and recognisable background, but the colours hint to a pastoral scene. Celebrating the daily work of those around him, Kamel treats the woman with sympathy and care. As an artist, he did not choose to paint misery, but instead aimed to capture the essence of the rural scenes that provided an endless source of inspiration. Within such limits his works display great mastery and they are characterised by Kamel's use of vigourous brushstrokes, which delineate form with minimal touches.


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