Tahia Halim (Egyptian, 1919-2003)
Lots are subject to 5% import Duty on the importat… Read more Property from a Private Collection, Sweden
Tahia Halim (Egyptian, 1919-2003)

Al Darawish (The Dervishes)

Tahia Halim (Egyptian, 1919-2003)
Al Darawish (The Dervishes)
signed 'T. Halim' (lower right); signed 'T. Halim' (lower left);
signed, titled and inscribed in Arabic (on the reverse)
oil on board
57 x 36in. (144.8 x 91.4cm.)
Painted in 1958
Collection of the Artist.
Private Collection of David Wirmark, Stockholm (by whom acquired directly from the artist), thence by descent to the present owner.
Dr. S. Sharouny, Tahia Halim Mythical Realism, Cairo 1999, no. 245/58 (illustrated in colour, p. 77).
Possibly Venice, XXX International Venice Biennale, June-October 1960, no. 15 (titled: I Darvisci).
Special notice
Lots are subject to 5% import Duty on the importation value (low estimate) levied at the time of collection shipment within UAE. For UAE buyers, please note that duty is paid at origin (Dubai) and not in the importing country. As such, duty paid in Dubai is treated as final duty payment. It is the buyer's responsibility to ascertain and pay all taxes due.
Sale room notice
Pursuant to further research with the Venice Biennale Archives, please note that the work is possibly exhibited at the XXX International Venice Biennale of 1960 as stated in the catalogue.

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Lot Essay

Christie's is proud to present this charming painting, newly discovered in Sweden, after being preserved in private hands unrevealed to the public for more than forty years.
Tahia Halim was born in Cairo in 1919. Thanks to her father who was a laureate of King Fouad, Tahia received her primary education in the Royal Palace and later studied painting under Youssef Traboulsi and Hamed Abdallah, who later became her husband. Tahia Halim proceeded with her artistic education in Paris and upon her return to Egypt in 1951 she was recognized both locally and internationally.
Painted in 1958, the same year Tahia was awarded the Guggenheim price, the present work entitled The Dervishes is defined by artistic maturity and reveals Tahia's artistic independence through the development of her signature style
and technique. Although she studied in the prestigious Académie Julian in Paris, Tahia Halim was never inclined to reflect the style of noble European in her works. Moving away from the European influences, her style is immersed in the Egyptian identity and folk culture and influenced by events such as the Suez crisis in 1956.
Following these events, Tahia focused on the portrayal of her homeland along with a sense of suffering and distress. The present work is a seminal example from her artistic exploration, that captures the essence of her national pride while it reveals the influences of her cultural heritage. Hinting at the historical events that happened that same year, namely the establishment of the United Arab Republic, Tahia uses her dervishes to instigate a sense of peace. As she depicts a modest couple embracing, Tahia indeed alludes to the Egyptian pride and unity within the febrile socio-political context and also draws on her personal experience, as she chose her passion for art over opulence and comfort.

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