The noted Al-Zayani art collection, famed for its diversity and representation of different regions of the Middle Eastern countries, stole the show at the Sotheby’s London exhibition on Tuesday. The auction of 80 artworks of Middle Eastern Art, collectively called Testimony of a Journey: The Al-Zayani Collection, fetched $2.9 million in the exhibition.
The collection featured artworks in various media and themes produced by artists from many countries in the Middle East, including Egypt, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.
Sotheby’s exhibited the collection as part of its Islamic, South Asian, and Middle Eastern week at the London galleries before the live auction.
The collection was expected to be auctioned for $1.4 million but fetched twice the estimated value.
Abdulrahman Al Zayani is one of the leading collectors in the Middle East. During the unveiling of the collection at the exhibition at Sotheby’s Dubai earlier this year, the Al-Zayani family said that each of the more than 100 pieces of the collection was “acquired with love” and that they looked forward to finding new homes and a renewed appreciation for these unique pieces by art lovers and collectors.
The exhibition featured magnum opuses like Gazbia Sirry’s The Garden, Abdel Hadi El-Gazzar’s Untitled (Gratzella’s Portrait), Fahrelnissa Zeid’s Erbil: Realites nouvelles, Hamed Nada’s Les Chanteuses, Ayman Baalbaki’s Mulatham among others.
It also featured important works produced by artists like Hassan Hajjaj, Hatem El-Mekki, Mahmoud Moussa, Mohammed Melehi, Fouad Kamel, Farid Belkahia, Behjat Sadr, and Taner Ceylan.
Admiring the collection, Ashkan Baghestani, Sotheby’s, Senior Vice President, Contemporary Art Specialist said, “Showcasing works from the early part of Abdulrahman Al Zayani’s distinguished collecting career, this auction follows the journey of a collector who started very young, with a clear vision and bold taste and believed in works from across the breadth of the Middle East. Bringing together the best of the best from this field – across the breadth of the Middle East – this sale marks a unique opportunity for budding collectors to acquire rare and important works from artistic masters from the region.”
The five-day exhibition in London showcased over 95 lots, featuring 73 artists like Gazbia Sirry, Fouad Kamel, Fahrelnissa Zeid, Behjat Sadr, and Farid Belkahia.
Lebanese painter and sculptor Aref El-Rayess’ painting from his desert series, produced while he was living in Jeddah, led the sales at the exhibition, according to Sotheby’s.
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