01 Paintings, MODERN & CONTEMPORARY MIDDLE EASTERN ART, With Footnotes - 2i

Adham Wanly (Egypt, 1908-1959)
Nocturne Dabaka Dancers, c. 1956
oil on board
49.2 x 64cm (19 3/8 x 25 3/16in).
Private collection

The dabka, literally 'stamping of the feet' is a type of line dance popular at weddings and celebrations throughout the Middle East. In Wanly's work the figures are gracefully depicted, appearing almost to float across the canvas.

Adham Wanly (1908 in Alexandria, Egypt – 1959) was an Egyptian painter who learnt in the atelier of the Italian Otorino Becchi 1932, then set up his own atelier with his brother Seif Wanly (above), and participated in many local and international exhibition specially Venice, São Paulo (Brasil), Alexandria Biennale.

The Museum of Modern Art in Alexandria displays many of his paintings. The artist is mostly famous for recording the life of the theater and circus. He specialized in the ballet and opera as featured in the Cairo Opera House and the Theatre Mohamed Ali, in Alexandria. The paintings render the stage lights and movements of the people involved and he is able to express the light and agility in various ways. He had a talent in caricature in which he used in mockery of himself and the people of his time. There is now a museum in his memory. More on Adham Wanly

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