Two masterpieces by the father of modern Egyptian painting, Mahmoud Saïd, will be auctioned in October during Christie's Middle East Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art sale.
Saïd's paintings Pêcheurs à Rosette and El Zar have been recently consigned for sale from a private collector in Egypt closely related to the artist's family. Neither painting has appeared in a previous auction and both will be available for a pre-sale, public viewing from the Sunday prior to the sale on October 23 and 24 at Emirates Towers Hotel.
Pêcheurs à Rosette is estimated to be worth between US$400,000 and $600,000 (Dh1.5 million and Dh2.2m) and is considered one of the artist's most comprehensive works. The painting, completed in 1941, renders a detailed fishing scene beside the Nile River. The pieceis the largest work to have appeared at auction by Saïd and is said to be equal in quality to his masterpiece, The Whirling Dervishes, which was sold for more than $2.4m - a world record.
"Pêcheurs à Rosette is one of very few Saïd's masterpieces left in private hands and we are honoured to have been entrusted with it along with El Zar as the highlights of our October sale," says Michael Jeha, the managing director of Christie's Middle East and the specialist in charge of the sale.
El Zar is a rediscovered preparatory oil painting completed in 1939 for a larger, more well-known composition from the collections of the Museum of Modern Art of Cairo. It depicts a dancing group and musicians performing a religious ritual. It is valued between $150,000 and $200,000.