- S. J. Vernoit
[Mukhtār, Maḥmūd; Moukhtar, Mahmoud]
(b Tanyra, May 10, 1891; d Cairo, March 27, 1934).
Egyptian sculptor. He studied at the School of Fine Arts, Cairo, and after graduating was sent in 1911 by the founder of the School, Prince Yusuf Kamal, to study sculpture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. Although Mukhtar was at ease in France, and regularly exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français, his aim increasingly was to search for an Egyptian identity in art. In order to re-establish an Egyptian style in monumental sculpture he developed a ‘neo-pharaonic’ style, and became the first Egyptian artist to use granite since Ancient Egyptian times. His massive pink granite statue Egyptian Awakening (1919–28), the most official of his works, was placed at the gateway to Cairo University. It shows a sphinx about to rise, and a woman unveiling.
During the 1920s Mukhtar became an influential figure in modern Egyptian art, and prominent in the group La Chimère, founded in 1927, which included the painters Raghib Ayyad (...