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Louay Kayyali

  • Biography
  • Artworks
  • Exhibitions
  • Participations
  • Books

Born in 1934 Aleppo, Syria
Education: Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze

1945: Began his career in painting.
1956: Delegated to Italy to study Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome.
1958: Granted the first award in Sicilia Contest
sponsored by the Italian- Arabic Relations in Rome.


1959: Granted many awards, one of which was the Golden Medal for Foreigners at Ravenna Contest.
He made his 1st personal Fair at La Fonta Nella Hall; while continuing his academic studies.


1960: With his colleague Fateh AlMudaress, they represented Syria at the Binalah Fair in Venice - Italy.
He made his 2nd fair at the Fair Hall in Rome.
He was granted 3rd prize in the Gobio city contest in which 21 states contributed.
He was granted 2nd prize in Alatrei Contest.
October 17: Another exhibition at the Art Gallery in Rome.

1961: He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome- Dept. of Decoration.
1962: Teached Painting & Decoration at the Higher Institute of Fine Arts (later on known as Faculty of Fine Arts).


1965: He made his 6th appearance at Alkarbinieh Hall In Rome,
where he presented his painting “Then What?” in which he expressed the tragedy of the Palestinian Arab Refugees.


His Psychological Crisis:


In 1966, symptoms of a psychological crisis began to show when he started to paint many gruesome charcoal paintings representing the torture and struggle of man.


1967: Made his 7th appearance at the Damascus Arab Cultural Center, entitled “For the Sake of Cause” in which he exhibited 30 gaudy charcoal paintings. This exhibition moved among many Syrian Cities.
As an outcome of this exhibition, he was attacked by offensive criticism by a group of artists and journalists. The fact that drove him to destroy all his paintings, but one which was a study of a man in a battle-field.
As a result, he quit painting & teaching for about two years.


1969: Started medical treatment to restore psychological health, in Beirut.


1973-1976: His golden days came back, while he held many local & international exhibitions; regaining the artists, press and museums attention.


1977: May 7th : His well-prepared exhibition in Amman was cancelled due to some mistakes, the thing that refleced badly on him.
June 1st: His 12th appearance at the People’s Hall of Fine Arts under the auspices of Ministry or Culture.
Yet he was exposed to attacks of artists and writers from Aleppo. Wherefore he sold his house and everything he owned and left the country in December dreaming that he would practice in Rome in a better atmosphere.


1978: He came back to Aleppo disappointed... He lived in solitude and became addicted to tranquillizers & drugs as if he was committing suicide gradually at the sight of his acquaintances.


In the night of 9-10 September: He suffered burns incurred from his bed catching fire. He passed away hours later after reaching the hospital in Damascus.

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