Laundry at Kobba, oil on canvas, signed and dated 1920 lower right, framed, 60 x 37.5cm (23 5/8 x 14 3/4in).
Provenance: From an important private collection, Cairo, Egypt: formerly in the collection of the Rateb family who were relatives of the artist.
Mahmoud Said is undoubtedly one of the most important figures in the history of Egyptian modern art and in 1927 helped to establish the artists group known as 'La Chimere' along with other pioneer artists Mahmoud Mokhtar, Ahmad Youssef and Mohammad Naghi. The group held their first exhibition in 1928, however it was disbanded in 1930 when Mokhtar left for Paris.
Painted in 1920, seven years before the establishment of La Chimere, Laundry at Kobba depicts a scene of clothes drying on the railings of the Royal Palace of Kobba in Alexandria in the late afternoon sun. Said was only twenty three when this work was painted and was still heavily under the influence of the Impressionist painters of the late 19th century. The work does however display the artist's skill of capturing light and the confident brushstrokes that characterised the artist's later works.
Laundry at Kobba was acquired by the current owner from the Rateb family who were relatives of Said. It was commonplace in Egyptian society for artists to give works to family members and close family friends. The work was acquired directly from the Rateb family and has been part of an important collection of Egyptian art in Cairo ever since.
One of the earliest works by the artist to appear at auction, this presents a fantastic opportunity to acquire an early work by one of Egypt's foremost artists.
For further discussion on the beginnings of the modern art movement in Egypt see Wijdan Ali (Ed.) Contemporary Art from the Islamic World, 1989, London, pp.33-38