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Word into art

Aref el-Rayyess (Lebanon), The road to peace: images of the Lebanese civil war, bound book


This book contains a series of images that highlight the Lebanese civil war. This terrible conflict tore Lebanon apart between 1975 and 1989 and set communities against each other. The powerful images are reproduced from charcoal drawings in grey and black. The stark picture illustrated here is called In anticipation of a settlement. People are stacked together, soldiers aim at a fractured wall of faces, mothers and children are frightened, and all are grim and unsmiling.

El-Rayyess started his career as a self-taught artist. He worked and studied in Paris from 1950, returning to Lebanon in 1957. After this he taught at the Institute of Fine Arts, University of Beirut, and in 1973 was appointed president of the Lebanese association of painters and sculptors. Following the civil war in Lebanon, he moved to Jeddah. He died in 2005.