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Amazing Arab Art Pieces You Need to Know

posted on: Aug 14, 2019

By: Nana Osei/Arab America Contributing Writer

Arab art is beautiful and unique; it has a rich and strong history. There are Arab artists who are talented and inspirational. From Samir Rafi to Saliba Douahi, there is a great number of Arab artists who bring much enrichment into the world of art through their miraculous talent. Here are some pieces of Arab Art throughout history that truly deserve recognition. Maybe you’ll find your new favorite Arab artist!

1. Samir Rafi


Samir Rafi’s piece called, “Life Tragedy” was made in 1949. In this piece, The Egyptian Rafi causes you to feel a mini existential crisis as you watch a man lay in bed next to a rectangular pit. The artist makes you wonder what he meant in the painting. In objective interpretation, he created a way to express humanity’s existential dread of death and what happens after.

2. Mahmoud Said

The Artist Mahmoud Said called this piece, “The Whirling Dervishes”.   It’s interesting that the artist was not only an amazing one but he was also a judge in Alexandria, Egypt. This mesmerizing piece of art was made in 1929 and was actually sold for over 2.4 million in 2010.  Much of Said’s art was a depiction of his homeland.


3. Saliba Douaihy

This piece of art was created by the Lebanese artist Saliba Douaihy. It is untitled and was created in 1972. It was sold for over $125,000 in Dubai. This art is based on the symbolism of infinite space which Saliba Douaihy wanted to capture through his art.

4. Abdel Hadi El Gazzar

The Egyptian artist, Abdel Hadi El Gazzar titled this piece, “Construction of the Suez Canal.” It depicts the hard and strenuous work that people had to go through in order to construct the canal. It shows inequality and slavery in all its nakedness. This piece was sold for over 1.2 million dollars in 2014.

5. Mahmoud Obaidi

Mahmoud Obaidi named this piece of his art, “Morpheus and the Red Poppy 2.” He depicted multiple copies of the same individual wearing a gas mask which in turn produces the picture of a flower.

6. Fateh al-Moudarres

This piece of art was created by the Syrian painter Fateh al-Moudarres. He named it,  Ranch Girls and it was created in 1965. You can see the beautiful oil brushes and unique shapes created in it.

7. Fahr El-Nissa Zeid

This work of art was actually created by an actual princess of Jordan in 1962! It’s titled “Break of the Atom and Vegetal Life.” It is the most expensive painting to be sold by an Arab artist and was valued for over 3 million!

8. Rafiq Al-Kamel

This beautiful oil piece truly speaks to the soul. It was created by Rafiq Al-Kamel in 1980. This is one of the most famous Arab abstract pieces of the 19th century.