Contemporary Arts

Ragheb Ayad

(b 1892 – d 1982),


Ragheb Ayad was known for his poetic treatment of the Egyptian rural environment and for a distinctive expressive style verging on the caricature. He was one of the First Generation of Egyptian pioneer artists and perhaps the first one to rid himself of western influences and in so doing creating Egyptian modern art with its own distinct identity.  His chosen subject matter was the old streets of Cairo, upper Egyptian villages, the small towns and the vibrant souks.


He graduated from the School of Fine Arts in 1911and prepared three diplomas in Oil Painting, Decoration and drama décor from Italy.


Ayad held many high-profile positions: In 1930,  was appointed as Head of Decoration Department in Applied Arts School, in 1942, appointed as Head of Free Studies Department in High School of Fine Arts and in 1950, appointed as Director of the Museum of Modern Art. In 1953, he was the official representative of the Egyptian museums in the International Council of Museums in Paris.


Participated in many local exhibitions, all exhibitions of Cairo Salon that was organized by Association of Fine Arts Lovers since 1924 and First Drawing Salon (Black & White) at Gezira Arts Center in 2004 and Museum of Mr. and Mrs. Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil in 2008. He also participated in international exhibitions like the Exhibition of the Arab Artists in Italy.


Ayad achieved many prizes such as the State Prize of Merit of Arts and Medal of Arts and Science from the 1st class in 1964. He was also granted the Medal from “Knight” degree from Italy in 1936.

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