Far away from his daily tasks, this still amateur artist observes the ethnic beauty of ordinary women, first in intimate nudes and then in portraits closer to their everyday life. His great merit is to have revealed the modern pride of Egypt with the techniques of European painting.
On April 18 in London, Bonhams sells as lot 8 an oil on canvas 81 x 58 cm painted in 1938 which was successively titled Fellaha au voile noir and Fille à l'imprimé.
This very young peasant woman with an introverted gaze enters modern life while practicing a hard traditional occupation for her livelihood. Her cheap dress is printed with patterns of brightly colored flowers. Her elbow is resting on an amphora. In the distance, barely perceptible, another herself carries the amphora to take water at the river.
This young person has nothing in common with the mysterious girls of Egypt re-imagined by the European Orientalists. The features of her face and her dark skin are typical of Bedouin groups in the north of the country. This painting was greatly applauded in 1939 at the Salon du Caire, becoming the symbol of the artistic representation of the real Egyptian life.
The second world war slowed down this expectation for modernism. Judge Said continued, becoming a full-time artist in 1947 only.
Please watch the video prepared by Bonhams to introduce the whole sale by positioning modernism in Egyptian history. Fille à l'imprimé is a significant element in that trend.
SOLD for £ 510K including premium