Highlights on Georges Hanna Sabbagh
Georges Hanna Sabbagh (1887 – 1951) grew up in a wealthy Copt family of Lebanese origin established in Alexandria, Egypt.
Georges Sabbagh spent most of his life between Paris and Egypt. Although he was very attached to his Egyptian origins, he considered himself a painter of the École de Paris. An abounding artist, who produced over a thousand oil paintings along with many engravings. His first paintings are characterized by the teachings of the Nabis (followers of the post-impressionist movement), particularly by his tutor and friend, Maurice Denis, who introduced him to the emotional power of color and symbolism. In 1918, he paid tribute to his forefathers, by depicting Cézanne and Van Gogh in his painting ‘Les joueurs de cartes’.
On the whole, Sabbagh remained independent and unique in his pictorial style, yet always following modern trends while expressing the powerful light and colors of his native country. He painted many portraits of his friends, and family, as well as marines of Brittany and landscapes of the Egyptian, French, and Swiss countryside. Throughout his life, he held 28 solo exhibitions and took part in more than 130 group exhibitions. Posthumous, several retrospective shows were held. Sabbagh's paintings are part of many private and public collections worldwide, such as the Museum of Egyptian Modern Art in Cairo, the Mohammed Mahmoud Khalil Museum in Cairo, and the Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha.
“I am neither of Brittany, Paris, Nabi, nor cubist. I am a painter of the Orient and the West; a man from Africa, the Levant, and Europe, a Mediterranean in love with light and life” - Georges Hanna Sabbagh