Seif Wanly

Employing a distinct style of bright colours, form and composition, the paintings of Seif Wanly blend the geometry of simplified shapes with Futurist and Cubist influences.

Born in Alexandria into an aristocratic Egyptian family, Wanly was privately tutored in art. In his portraits we find characters in self- reflective gestures detached from the pace of life. While some of his paintings capture live entertainment, theatre and musical performances such as travelling circuses and ballets, as seen in Russian Ballet (1958-60), Wanly’s primary concentration was to depict daily life. In Mother and Child (1957), he explores maternal intimacy, while Nocturne (1953) features a reflective scene of a solitary driver dozing on his a horse drawn taxi.

The artist established an art studio in Alexandria in the 1940s with his brother Adham Wanly that was open to the public and any-one interested in the arts. In the late 1950s, Wanly travelled to Nubia to produce a series of paintings and drawings portraying life in Upper Egypt for a governmental project to document culture and conditions prior to the relocation that occurred to enable construction of the Aswan High Dam.