“Marhala,” an Arabic term signifying a phase or period within a journey, is emblematic of a significant juncture in the Dalloul Collection’s history. This auction of 48 artworks from the collection marks a new chapter in the realm of Arab art collecting, under the guidance of Dr. Basel Dalloul, who has redefined the collection’s direction and expanded its scope to encompass contemporary art alongside iconic Arab pieces.
The Dalloul Collection resides in Beirut, the heartland of the Dalloul family, and was curated by Dr. Ramzi and Saeda Al Husseini Dalloul, who, along with their son Dr. Basel Dalloul, merged personal tastes with an appreciation of Arab artistic expressions. Dr. Ramzi’s art journey commenced in the 1970s in Baghdad, where he acquired his first artwork, igniting a passion that spanned five decades. Having lived in various international cities, including Paris, London, and Beirut, the Dalloul family cultivated connections with artists both in the Arab region and within the diaspora. Their acquisitions, sourced from galleries, auctions, and artists themselves, have significantly enriched the collection.
Dr. Ramzi’s cultural affinity for the Arab region led him to commission artworks from leading artists, leaving a legacy as one of the most notable private collectors of Arab art.
In 2021, following Dr. Ramzi Dalloul’s passing, Dr. Basel Dalloul assumed an even more prominent role in guiding the collection. Fuelled by his personal collector’s sensibilities, he is actively investing in contemporary artists from the region and reevaluating acquisition strategies to ensure a comprehensive representation of Arab art. The collection now spans three centuries, offering an immersive journey through Arab history and showcasing the evolution of art movements within the region, with an emphasis on the Levant, specifically Lebanon, and Palestine, the roots of the Dalloul family. It is notably recognised for its inclusion of prominent female artists and representation from various religious and ethnic backgrounds.
The upcoming auction features a selection of artworks, including the masterpiece “Fille à l’imprimé” by Mahmoud Saïd, which was previously held in the collection of Hussein Pasha Sirry and exhibited multiple times during Saïd’s lifetime. The auction encompasses works by modern artists such as Kadhim Hayder, Dia Azzawi, Mohamed Melehi, Marwan, and Samia Halaby. The contemporary section features Ahmed Mater and Ayman Baalbaki, including others.
This auction is a celebration of the Dalloul family’s commitment to elevating Arab arts and identity, paying homage to their ongoing legacy and contribution to the region’s art scene. It also acknowledges Dr. Basel Dalloul’s determination to further enrich and emphasise the family collection.