The Face of the Prophet. Khalil Gibran and the Portraits of the Temple of Arts. / Wajih al-Nabi, Khalil Gibran Wa Rusum Haikal al-Fann.

Mujais, Salim.

Book ID: 8120

ISBN:      9789953554150


8vo. 141 pp., of Arabic text, 53 pp., of English text, b/w illustrations, publisher’s original wrappers, biblio, index, copy in mint condition, Kutub, Beirut, 2011.


A series of letters and portrait representations written by Gibran. We find representations of friends and associates that may not have figured in his original concept of the Temple of Arts series. Tthese portraits also capture the characters that populated the cultural and social scene in which artists and poets thrived in the early part of the 20th century in New York …
…“During his apprenticeship in Paris, Khalil Gibran embarked on an artistic project that will occupy him for many years to come and position him as a talented portraitist to the elite of the American cultural and social establishment. Little of this artistic pursuit is evident in the common general biographies about Gibran or in the occasional retrospective exhibits of his artwork. At best only a few illustrative examples of the most famous portraits are ever reproduced or displayed giving the impression that portraiture may have been an episodic or ephemeral interest of Gibran. Yet in his first public show in New York in 1914, Gibran exhibited 17 portraits from what came to be known as the Temple of Art series. […] in the present work, I have undertaken to offer a detailed survey of Gibran’s portraiture work through identification of the individuals in the available portraits retrieved from the Juley collection or other sources, as well as through exploration of intersections of the lives of these individuals in the life of Gibran.”…(pp 1-3)

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