Mahmoud Moussa (Egypt, 1913-2003) Egypt and Sudan height: 60 cm

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Lot 28*
Mahmoud Moussa
(Egypt, 1913-2003)
Egypt and Sudan height: 60 cm

Sold for £ 57,500 (US$ 69,509) inc. premium
Mahmoud Moussa (Egypt, 1913-2003)
Egypt and Sudan
stone
signed "M.Moussa" in Arabic (on base), executed in 1964
height: 60 cm

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Property from a private collection, Alexandria

    "I am well aware that the Ottoman Empire is heading by the day toward destruction. ... On her ruins I will build a vast kingdom ...from Egypt and Sudan, up to the Euphrates and the Tigris"
    - Muhammad Ali Pasha

    A powerful and impressive sculpture by Mahmoud Moussa, "Egypt and Sudan" is charged with political significance, commemorating the intimate and complex historical relationship between the two countries.

    Sudan and Egypt have enjoyed intriguing historical ties, centered on historical commonalities in antiquity when Nubian Kingdoms in Sudan controlled Egypt and vice versa. In more recent history, prior to Sudanese independence in 1956, the two countries were united since the early 19th century through Muhammad Ali Dynasty invasion and occupation of Sudan under British rule.

    In the period when the present work was executed, Nasser's pan-Arabist agenda sought to spread its seed amongst neighbouring countries and Sudan once again fell under Egypt's influence, with Colonel Gaafar Nimeiry, a staunch supporter of Nasser, taking power in the country.

    Interestingly, Moussa's embodiment of the two countries is not depicted as a high flown gesture between two political leaders, instead it is an embrace between two common folk who are hardly distinguishable in appearance, emphasising not only the deep human bond between two nations which share the waters of the treasured Nile, but which affirms Moussa's agenda as an artist championing the common man. Depicting a hybrid aesthetic combining the appearance of the Pharaonic Nubian and the the rural "fellah" or Egyptian agricultural laborer, Moussa blends history with the present day, underlining the continuity and commonality which subvert and transcend temporary political or geographic borders

    Mahmoud Mousa is generally regarded as the artistic successor to the great Mahmoud Mokhtar. He was a pioneering artist of the second generation, beginning his artistic career when, in 1931, he joined evening classes run by the Amateurs Society, then under the direction of Mahmoud Said, and received further training from Mahmoud Mokhtar, which contributed to the development of the signature Pharonic revival style which is the hallmark of some of the most celebrated examples of twentieth century Egyptian sculpture.

    Moussa's artistic skill and aesthetic sensibilities came from his experience with sculpting marble gravestones, demonstrated in his ability to work on a shallow surface, and his deftness in imbuing his figures with a unique expressiveness, grace and austerity evident in the president composition.

    He became a member of the teaching staff at the sculpture department of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Alexandria, in 1957. He participated in several group exhibitions in Cairo and Alexandria including several appearances at the Alexandria Biennale, including winning the prize for sculpture in Alexandria Biennale in 1955.
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