Mahmoud Said: Alexandria’s Paintbrush breaks Christie’s Record?

My latest article in Ahram Online is about an artist that painted dancers and dervishes, aristocrats and nudes. The best appreciation he ever received during his lifetime was –as he himself said- a spit on the face from a man that was ‘moved’ by the sensuality of the nude figures in that painter’s works. Our artist, who left his law studies in France and dedicated himself to art, eventually became ‘Alexandria’s paintbrush’ and one of Egypt’s most iconic modern painter: Mahmoud Saïd (1897-1964).

In 2010, his name made the news headlines as one of his masterpieces; ‘The Whirling Dervishes’ (1929), sold for a record $ 2.546 million through Christie’s Dubai. The estimated price prior to the sale was no higher than $ 400,000. The sale sent shockwaves through the art market, setting the world auction record for the artist
and the world record price for any Arab painting sold at auction. Earlier that year, another painting of his; ‘Les Chadoufs’ (1935), had sold for $ 2.43 million. Now, two of his paintings might break a new record next week. Read on:

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