Upsurge for Independence, Cedar Revolution, National Resurgence

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Upsurge for Independence, Cedar Revolution, National Resurgence

A masterpiece… Oil on canvas, 200 x 151 cm, 2005

What great rejoicing, in heaven and on earth!

Against the splendor of an azure oriental sky, the standards, the banners, and the flags, all green, white and red, bear the cedar, the national emblem, and waltz in the wind with splendid grace.

A vast human crowd of an unprecedented number, covering the ground as far as the eye can see, plunges us into deepest emotion – venerable grandsires, babies in arms, children and ardent youth, all ages, men and women, all children of the Lebanese fatherland.

We are in Beirut, on the very campus of the first School of Law in the world, where now the citizens demand application of the Law and respect for their rights.

Great crowds flow into this space like human rivers whose sources gush forth in every place in the land.

The tides of humanity can scarcely be distinguished from those of the wide Mediterranean in front. The whole world regards us astounded. We have gone beyond our earth-bound frontiers to distant lands to reach hearts and to stir spirits and noble feeling. We take consciousness of all existence, inspired by our prayerful saints and the foundations of civilization laid here six thousand years ago.

Martyr’s Square is a very hive in the wide world or rather a world within this hive, here where life seethes and overflows, to stir this whole region from its centuries-old sleep.

Composition full of movement

This is a composition full of movement, with legends and allegories complementing each other. A tide of humanity moves harmoniously together with a sweep of lines and colors. The flags affirm their presence with their calligraphy. One might say that two canvases, one superimposed on the other, complete each other by their transparency. Two religious symbols are to be seen one on the left and one in the right, a mosque, and a church. Saifi Village, the picturesque center of Beirut, also has its festival. There is the port, the government Saraya, are various districts, the bridge, and buildings stretching northward, towards the Lebanese crowned by Mount Sannine of the eternal snows.

The banners are lost in the distant horizons, shades of red, white, blue and grey dominating the whole. It is a real hymn of joy, of hope, and of love of country, an astounding revolution of the cedars. The oils flow in rich abundance, the inert matter transforming itself into something warm and alive and making of the work a poem and achievement of art.

There is a life which is revolutionary, contagious, epidemic, a human revolution of love, purity, and innocence flowing over the frontiers. Just as our forebears spread the alphabet across the world, so we shall sow in distant fields our revolutionary actions to free the world.

Joseph Matar