Saturday, December 5, 2009
Lebanon Rising : A Phoenix Painting
Original Painting by Antoine Faddoul
The Fable as narrated by the artist :
The Phoenix, the firebird that comes from Paradise, lives five hundred years feeding on aromatic herbs and filling the air with its heavenly voice, before it perishes and burns in fire. It would then rise from the ashes to live another five hundred years.
For thousands of years, the land that carried the mountains of Lebanon and hugged the Mediterranean Sea was restless. The cedars that the LORD Himself planted on the snowy white mountains of Lebanon witnessed the land's boundaries expanding and shrinking, and those who inhabited the very first civilized cities suffered numerous invasions destroying their cities time and again.
However, like the Phoenix, the survivors always rose from the ruins and rebuilt their homeland in a manner even more magnificent than it used to be, while the invaders left, no matter how long they captured the land for. The Phoenix kept flying over Mount Lebanon with fiery and golden feather, spending its life narrating the greatness of the land and its people with its glamorous voice.
Through history, the Phoenix could not live its full lifespan, yet it never failed to rise from its ashes to chant the story of a living nation.
Completed end of 2006, the painting represents the rebirth of Lebanon through the Phoenix rising from destroyed Beirut. It is the tale of Lebanon's sorrowful history with the surrounding nations, and the will of its people to resurrect.
At the bottom right side, the figures show a sequence of historic assaults against Lebanon with the Israeli war of July 2006 in the front. Behind it, a figure of Beirut falling to Syrian occupation in 1990. Further back, is the Israeli invasion of 1982. Then the Palestinian guerrillas control of Beirut in 1980 and so on back in history.
At the bottom-left side, figures show the revolutions and acts of resistance against the occupiers. A women holding a dead child, and a kid weeping over his dead mother brief the will of the Lebanese civilians against the Israeli attack of 2006. Behind it, the Cedar Revolution of 2005 that drove the Syrian army out of Lebanon, then acts from the peaceful resistance against the Syrian occupation since 1990, and the figures continue back in history marking some historic scenes from Lebanon's revolutions.
The series of Lebanese revolutions are marked with the Phoenixes rising above the scenes, while the ones showing the occupation are marked by fire, dark smoke and ruins.
The painting was done between July and December 2006.
[ See other paintings by the artist at http://www.tonysky.net/tony/]