Hamed Ewais (Egyptian, 1919-2011)
Workers Resting
signed and dated in Arabic (lower left)
oil on canvas
3878 x 5034 in. (99 x 129cm.)
Painted in 1975
Acquired directly from the artist, thence by descent to the present owner.
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Lot Essay

A pioneer of Egyptian social realism, artist Hamed Ewais depicts in his work the embodiment of the Egyptian working class and the evolving revolutionary spirit post-1952 under President Gamel Abdel Nasser’s Pan-Arab regime. Ewais’ subjects are larger-than-life, thick-boned peasants, fisherman, labourers and factory workers, figures who would serve the nation on their path to national development. Ewais’ distinctive style evokes the personification of strength in his depictions of muscular figures within his compositions. The present work of hard-working labourers at rest is a strong and poignant example echoing a time of industrialised growth but also restrictions, as conveyed by the dense and compact composition. Another iteration of the composition is found in the Museum of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Helwan University, in Zamalek.

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