Egyptian painter Abdel Aal Hassan passed away on Tuesday 6 July, leaving behind a rich legacy of portraiture.
One of the major figures in journalistic illustration, he is also a salon artist, and his work depicted various themes from the human face to the landscape.
Egyptian portraitists include the godfather of the genre Ahmed Sabry as well as Hussein Bekar, Sabry Ragheb, Ezz El-Din Hammouda and Hassan Suleiman. Standing on their shoulders, Hassan took things further. In contrast to Mahmoud Said’s famous Bahari (or native Alexandrian) girls, for example, he painted city and country girls as well as the girls of the oasis.
Born in Port Said in 1944, Hassan received his BA from the Department of Fine Arts at Helwan University in 1966. He later became a member of the Syndicate of Plastic Arts, the Syndicate of Journalism and the Cairo Atelier. He illustrated the Qatari Dawn magazine and Egypt’s Rose Elyusef magazine. He gave and participated in over 35 exhibitions.
Among his most important shows is his exhibition at the American University in Cairo’s Ewart Hall in 1989, an exhibition entitled Girls from Egypt in the Hall of Gardens in Garden City in 1998, an exhibition at the Bab Saleem Hall in the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art in 2016.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 8 July, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly