Cairo Street Scene, oil on board, signed lower left, framed,48 x 49cm (18 7/8 x 19 5/16in).
Provenance: From an important private collection, Alexandria, Egypt.
Although this work is undated it has been suggested that it was executed in the early 1950s.
Kamel Moustafa belongs to the second generation of Modern Egyptian artists who sit between the Pioneers such as Mahmoud Said, Youssef Kamel and Mohammed Naghi and the Surrealists, Abdul Hadi El-Gazzar, Samir Rafi and Hamed Nada.
Following the 1952 revolution this new group of artists found themselves operating in a new window of freedom whose aim was to express national personality through symbolism. They emphasised the aesthetics of the new Egyptian society, which for the first time had managed to break away from foreign rule, local nepotism and privileged society.
The artist was born and studied in Alexandria where his talent was first recognized. He was later encouraged by Mahmoud Said to join the Cairo School of Fine Arts in 1936 and graduated five years later. From 1936 the artist spent ten years working in Cairo painting a wide-range of subjects in an impressionist style including traditional scenes from the city and rural life; weddings, souks, markets, folk dances and other elements of traditional Egyptian life.
Between 1946 and 1950 Moustafa travelled to Italy for further study, returning in the early 1950s to resume his work until his death in Alexandria in 1982.
Bonhams would like to thank Dr Youssef Kamel for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.
References: Wijdan Ali (Ed.), Contemporary Art from the Islamic World, London, 1989, p.38