Fille à l’imprimé by Mahmoud Said (1897-1964), the father of Egyptian modernism, set a new world record at auction for a portrait by the artist at Bonhams Egypt’s Awakening sale in London on the 18th of April this year. It realised £512,750 after a four-way bidding battle. It is considered Said’s most iconic portrait, and a defining work in the history of Egyptian 20th century art.
Other world records from the sale included:
Surrealist Woman by Fouad Kamel (1919-1999) achieved £218,750, making it a world record for the artist, after it was estimated at £20,000-30,000. Kamel is leading figure in the Egyptian surrealist movement and a founder member of Art et Liberté in the late 1930s which campaigned against Fascist and Nazi moves to supress freedom of artistic expression.
- Self-Portrait with Cello by Ahmed Morsi sold for £37,500 after an estimate of £8,000-12,000 equalling the previous world record.
Further highlights in the sale were:
Le Canal de Mahmoudieh by Mahmoud Said achieved £100,000, after an estimate of £50,000-80,000.
- The Tamboura Player, Hussein Bicar (1913-2002) achieved £60,000, after an estimate of £35,000-50,000.
Bonhams Head of Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art, Nima Sagharchi said, “Fille à l’imprimé is a wonderful painting by the father of Egyptian modernism, Mahmoud Said, and the impressive price paid indicates that Said still remains Egypt’s most valuable 20th century artist.