The Beautiful Season (La Belle Saison)
Executed in: c.1991
Medium: Gouache on paper
Size: 50 x 70 cm
Signed on the front lower left "Paul G".
Private Collection, Lebanon.
This artwork is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
Fanar, Metn, Lebanon
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.
“La Belle Saison” is a beautiful testimony to Guiragossian’s sensitivity to togetherness. Elongated figures huddle together, sometimes leaning on each other, in a tired but trusting embrace. Compared to other works of his, although there may not be any space between the figures, they do not seem cramped together: they just fit. There is a sense of peace, comfort, and conviviality in the scene. Though the figures may have their back turned to us spectators, they still exude a sense of welcome.
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