Executed in: 1965
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 120 x 200 cm
Signed and dated lower right
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner.
Fateh Moudaress studied at the academia di Belle arti in Rome in the 1960s and then at École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris in the 1970s. He was chosen, alongside Louay Kayali to represent Syria at the Venice Biennale in 1960.
In this 1965 painting, the artist captures a full view of the historical and spiritual village of Sadnaya, located between the mountains away from Damascus. It is home to ancient Byzantine Greek Orthodox monasteries and convents, founded by emperor Justinian I. The town with a population of around 25000, along with neighboring Maaloula remains one of the last places where Western Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ, is spoken. For years, this region has been lieu of pilgrimage for both Muslims and Christians, being surrounded by ancient monasteries, convents and churches. In the 1960s, the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Damascus included in its curriculum a mandatory field trip to Maaloula and the villages. Moudaress, along with friend and fellow artist Louay Kayali were teachers at the faculty, and often accompanied students there. Thus, these holy cities became images that Moudaress painted throughout the years, showing the evolution of his style from one year to the next.
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