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I listened to him speak. It was the long story of a man entranced by light! It was that light which for him, if it came not from the depths of the soul, had no existence! It was a story which was to be the onward flow of that first morning of creation; “Let there be light!” – and there was light, says Holy Scripture in Genesis 1: 3. But it was a creation which still runs on at every moment, in every direction and stretching to infinity. Consider the world of Nature, where life engenders life, where beauty bursts out into poetry, into forms and colors in symphonies repeated again and again.

It was something of all this that the Lebanese painter sought to express in works aglow with vision full of freshness, of deep humanity and of sublime spirituality all at one time. He sought to put his whole soul into at least making one aware that there was spiritual and symbolic wealth and a soul in the least of things, a tree, for example, reaching up from a generous soil, a venerable Lebanese house ensconced in a nest of verdure and redolent of the secrets of past habitation; or a face deeply lined by the passing of many years with their burdens but one marked by strength of features and regard bearing witness to a clear and determined will to face up to life, a wide landscape showing the strong colors of harvest-tide, the serene assurance of a joyful Lebanese village proudly like a conqueror clinging to the steep sunlit hillside, and further beyond the pathetic distress of a people waiting on the seashore under a dark and threatening sky for some imagined bark of salvation.

Then we come to a gallery, a sanctuary rather, of the mystic scenes of Golgotha seen as the center-pin of the whole Cosmos where there is Jesus set in his last agony against the halo of a setting sun which is at the same time a rising sun sending forth its rays. There are these nocturnes suffused by a light which foretells splendor in waiting or conveys the veiled but living presence of the Spirit.

I listened to this poet with an ear keen for the appearance of life and of the Spirit in all the affairs and activities and passions of mankind, for the active and mysterious presence of God in the awe-inspiring power of the Cosmos bursting forth in dimensions without bounds, envisioned in the calm and serenity of a starry corolla, in a plant triumphant, in a human life of fulfillment, or in a story perhaps troubled and twisted but with steps ever ascending. From these works of art there comes a feeling of ardor, of dynamism, of passionate exaltation when one stands before those almond and olive trees and even rocks, throbbing with life, glowing in their radiant victory and haloed by the sun. They invite one to send up a prayer of the joy of being, of admiration and of thanksgiving, a prayer also of spiritual search for the meaning of their presence, their beauty and their imprint on our wondering eyes.

We cannot pass over his pictorial art, the techniques he exploits, his gouaches and watercolors, his canvases and brushes, his plays of color on his palette and on his works, his surfaces both crusted and smooth, his search for relief to give to his subject while the colors are toned down, his cunning balance of forms and tints, his rejection of the faux-semblants of abstract or broken art. On the contrary, he willingly seeks to imply the symbolism that realities offer each other, by the contrasting interplay of planes, colors and forms by the dimensions and coloring of those higher powers the clouds, or of the many warm or serene tints of the light of a sun everywhere present and radiant. Yes, all these tricks of his trade, all these secrets of his art, he knows them too well: he has made them the subject of his brilliant thesis for his doctorat d’Etat, and although to know and pontificate about them learnedly and to use them with skill is something quite different, the contemplation of his work will never disappoint you for it comes from a master’s hand.

But what makes his work so strikingly Lebanese rather than universal? One can rightly say that there is a universal touch, for the artist has worked long in Madrid, in Paris and in Italy. But he is thoroughly Lebanese in the choice of his subjects so typical of his country, the houses nestling in the mountains, the landscapes, the trees, the villages, the human faces, the sky, sea and mountain, and the omnipresent sun. Not only that, but Lebanese also by this warm sympathy for all living beings, for the labor in the fields, for all that denotes a human presence. Lebanese above all by his spiritual quest, his imaginative exaltation, his deep religious feeling and his mystical flights which leave us amazed. His expression takes hold of us, his emotion stirs us, the sacred essence he strives to attain dazzles our eyes, while his whole work calls on us to take part.

Jean Delalande
Translated from the French by K.J. Mortimer

The album "Painters from Lebanon" from the works of the artist. (Tanit
Edition) 1996,
French (It comes with a Summary an English on a separate sheet inside the album
>>>With 12 art poster reproductions (32 x 24 cm) Click here to see the artworks printed<<<

To order the album 20 USD: Inc. (Ohio, USA) is a payment facilitator for goods and services provided by LebanonArt.

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