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Mohammad El Rawas (Lebanese, b. 1951)
Mohammad El Rawas (Lebanese, b. 1951)

A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu

Details
Mohammad El Rawas (Lebanese, b. 1951)
A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu
signed and dated 'M.El Rawas 2011' (lower right)
oil, acrylic, encaustic, mixed media and assemblage on plywood panel
39 3/8 x 39 3/8in.(100 x 100cm.)
Executed in 2011

Lot Essay

The theme of "trees" brought to my mind many images including that of a painting by Adrian Ludwig Richter entitled Genoveva in the forest seclusion 1841, which to me is one of the most enigmatic and compelling paintings featuring a forest scene.

The dramatic atmosphere of the forest is in harmony with the theme of the painting depicting Genoveva of Brabant, wife of the palatine Siegfried of Treves, and falsely accused of infidelity by the majordomo Golo. Sentenced to death she was spared by the executioner, and lived for six years with her son hiding in a cave in the Ardennes nourished by a roe.


It is fascinating to find out that in Marcel Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu, the narrator remembers a magic lantern he had in his room, in Cambray, which showed the image of Golo riding on his horse towards Genevieve's castle.

The literary reference to Proust is basically a reference to things lost through the march of time and which can only be brought back to life through memory. Thus the forest in my painting, which is suffering the inexorable encroachment of urbanism, will soon be lost and becomes mere living memory.
I repainted a major part of Richter's forest but the figure of Genoveva and her baby are gone and that of the Manga figurine 'Tsukino' has taken their place.
The boundaries of time and place are also lost when Kate- the character in the American television series, LOST, and who according to the scenario of the drama spends six months lost in the forest- finds herself in the Ardennes forest!

Mohammad El-Rawas (inscribed on the reverse)

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