Lot 21, Paul Guiragossian - Manuella and her Cat (Manuella et son chat) - Blurring the Lines, Waves of Figuration and Abstraction in Paintings from the MENA - Auctions

Manuella and her Cat (Manuella et son chat)


Executed in: c. 1973

Medium: Oil on canvas 

Size: 115.2 x 72 cm (with frame 145.7 x 101.8 cm)

Signed on the front lower left "Paul. G.".


Private Collection, Lebanon.


Beirut, Lebanon

Price realised €51,240

Estimate €34,000 - €50,000


Paul Guiragossian was a prominent Lebanese-Armenian painter who was born in Jerusalem in 1926 to refugee parents who had escaped the Armenian Genocide. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, to later settle in Beirut, where he became a leading figure in the country's art scene. Guiragossian's art is characterized by his bold use of color, expressive brushstrokes, and a style that could be described as abstract figuration. He often painted portraits and scenes of everyday life, capturing the spirit of a tight-knit community and tradition, with women often playing a central, almost holy role in his compositions. Guiragossian passed away in 1993, in Rabieh, Lebanon. Today, he is widely regarded as one of Lebanon's most important modern artists. Guiragossian’s works have been exhibited in Beirut, Italy and France, including in solo exhibitions in art institutions such as L’Institut du Monde Arabe in 1991. Many of the artist’s paintings are also part of permanent collections, namely the ones of the Armenian National Gallery, Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C. and of the Sao Paulo Modern Art Museum.

“Manuela et son Chat” might be a portrait of the artist’s daughter, painted in the classic Guiragossian style. Manuela is seated on an elevated chair, with a small platform at her feet where a cat is asleep, as if to guard the child. Manuela’s chair is lifted off the ground much like the thrones on which the Virgin Mary was often painted in the Western medieval and Renaissance periods. She gestures towards her mouth as if to hide a smile. Indeed, while Guiragossian used to portray women in a holy manner, he has rarely done it so playfully. 

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Paul Guiragossian

Price realised €12,200



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