AHMED SABRY, Egypt (1889 - 1955)
Born in 1889 in Cairo, Ahmed Sabry was one of the pioneers in the art of portraiture in Egypt. Orphaned at an early age, Sabri faced a problematic upbringing moving from one place to another. He graduated in 1914 from the School of Fine Arts in Cairo, which was established by Prince Yousef Kamal in 1908. He traveled to Paris in 1919, where he enrolled at Académie de la Grande Chaumière and the Académie Julian. He studied at the atelier of François Schommer training under Professor Paul Albert Laurens and painter Emmanuel Fougerat. Upon his return to Egypt, he worked at the Ministry of Agriculture as an illustrator at the Entomology Department. Sabry later worked at the Ministry of Public Works, which granted him a scholarship to pursue further studies in painting in Paris. While in Paris, Sabry showed his iconic portrait, The Nun, at the Grand Palais in 1929, and the French Arts Society awarded him its Prix d'Honneur. As an artist who had studied in Europe, Sabry was hired at the School of Fine Arts. He taught painting and headed the painting department until he retired in 1951. He was an esteemed teacher who nurtured the talents of several Egyptian artists such as Hussein Bicar, Salah Taher, and Hamed Owais. Sadly, the painter who had unveiled the beauty of numerous women, and highlighted the countenance of acclaimed men lost his sight a few years before his death in 1955 in Cairo.
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