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
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
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.
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
>>>With 12 art poster
reproductions (32 x 24 cm) Click here to see the artworks printed<<<
order the album 20 USD:
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