Joseph Taraboulsi (portraitist of celebrities)

Joseph Taraboulsi

He was born in Homs 1907 and studied in the Orthodox Scientific School. He moved to Lebanon with his father for five years, then moved back to Homs in 1919, where he got injured in an accident, and his hand was severely hurt. After that, he moved to Egypt with his father. He studied drawing principles in Egypt and received a gold medal in an exhibition at the Egyptian government headquarter in 1938. Hence, many celebrities and elites had invited him to portray them. Eventually, he made many masterpieces for public figures such as the head of Al-Wafd Party, Mostafa el-Nahhas Pasha, and King Farouk who invited Joseph to work as the official painter of the royal palace. Taraboulsi left Egypt to Brazil after the revolution in 1953. There, he had experienced the pros and cons of being exiled, but his hard work and talent enabled him to win a competition for painting the walls of Sao Paolo Cathedral, restoring the Byzantine Orthodox character of the cathedral, after that he achieved a huge success in portraying the top intellectuals of Sao Paolo. Twenty-six paintings of his work were dedicated to Homs, amongst them is the famous portrait of the Homsi poet, Dik El-Jin. His style moves between classical and impressionism, humans were among the inspirational subjects for him, whether in his portraits or the nudes painted in sublime and elevated style.

                                                                                                                                                                               Text: Lina Az-Zakaimi