Featured Artist

Elie Kanaan


A modernist artist, Elie Kanaan is renowned for his colour compositions and brilliant technical drawing and painting skills. Born in Beirut, Kanaan developed his style of painting with oils in his early twenties, meeting up with well- known artists, including the French painter, Georges Cyr. In 1957, he won first prize in painting at the ‘Salon du Printemps’ and, in the following year, the UNESCO prize.

Having received a fellowship to study in Paris, Kanaan attended the ‘Académie de la Grande Chaumière’, where he began to develop an abstract style of painting. He then spent time travelling throughout Europe and farther afield.

From 1962 onwards, numerous exhibitions were held of Kanaan’s work, with Paris, New York, Sao Paolo, Belgrade, Moscow and Alexandria among the cities that hosted his shows. His works were known for evoking the atmosphere of Saint Germain-des-Près and Montparnasse in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1967, Elie Kanaan was awarded the ‘Prix Vendôme’ which brought him recognition across Europe. He returned to Beirut, taking on the role of professor at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts and organising international exhibitions. His work can be found in prominent collections worldwide.

Featured Works