|Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Location: Jbeil Byblos
| From the Light of the Orient, legends were born
|An Array of Legends Making History and its Symbols
From the light of the Orient, legends were born. From the ethereal Orient, time became torrents of symbols and figures. From its brightness, memory revived a History full of mythologies, glory, exploits, knowledge and love.
Victor Haddad discovered the past indeed through that torrent of light… the light of the prophets… the commandments of God… and the land of Canaan. He dealt with its science, civilizations, architecture and parables, after having spent years in understanding it.
On his canvas, he revived the glamour of ancient Lebanon. He depicted its science and poetry, architecture and figures, not with letters, but with ethereal colors, transparent lines and melted forms.
Coastal towns… Beirut, Sidon, Tyre, Byblos, Tripoli, Baalbeck… The brush absorbs History and draws allegories, epics, Iliads. Life and death are at the core of the legends and symbols surrounding them and nesting in their curves. They become more surrealistic and so very familiar to who followed History from Phoenician era to Islamic conquest, through civilizations that colonized the coast, the mountains and the plain, and the built on it buried monuments as well as a language and a heritage that are still engraved on the rock… on the coins.
The rich knowledge of Lebanon's ancient History, the deep grasp of its architecture, the passion for its myths, the intervention of Gods in fertilizing life and creating a symbiosis between man and nature: all this made Victor Haddad employ his unique art in delivering grand work. His paintings immortalize History… epic reality, allegories stemming from harmony between Gods and men, between life and death,… love, transcendence of earthly considerations so that man becomes a semi god capable of overcoming obstacles and defeating destiny.
One of his paintings depicts Cadmus holding the Phoenician alphabet under his arms, while surrounded by legendary symbols. We take pleasure in reading the legend: Cadmus searching for his sister Europe who was kidnapped by Zeus, after the latter transformed himself into a white bull and took her to Crete. The bottom line is that her brothers, including Cadmus, went round the world and founded cities where they disseminated science, civilization and language.
Another one of his works is the triad of Adonis and Ashtarout: life, nature and death. Distinguished colors reflect the subject, hence they tend to be dark red when Adonis dies and resuscitates in the shape of an anemone.
The artist transcended the legend and widened its horizons. He insisted on reality through architecture. He gave back to Beirut its seven gates… Its glory. The background of his paintings reflects a city we have always dreamt of, a city with columns, engravings and mosaics. Glorious Baalbeck and its historic stairs became a dance floor. His style is a mixture of surrealism, cubic lines and artistic engravings.
The more he touches to modern History, the more myths open the way to culture engraved on the rock; multiple eras appear in the painting of Sidon, that is a mixture of Greek, Roman, Phoenician, Assyrian and Arab styles.
Victor Haddad portrayed Lebanon's History, its art, science, culture and architecture. His style is ceremonial, whether in colors, mosaics or engravings… and especially in bringing to life the ancient mythological man with his misery, beauty, youth, life, death and resurrection.
May Menassa, Art Critic Extract from the book Lebanon through the Ages - In fifty three paintings