Artist Profiles

Artist Profile: Louay Kayyali

Rawaa Talass
2 February 2024

When one thinks of modern Syrian art, a name that often crops up is that of Louay Kayyali. A twentieth century luminary, Kayyali is loved for his gentle portraits of the everyday man, woman and child. He was born in Syria's largest city, Aleppo, in 1934, an important year in world history: Adolf Hitler declared himself 'Führer' (or leader) of Germany, Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin was born, and renowned physicist Marie Curie died. What lies beneath Kayyali's quiet imagery, noted for depicted struggles of the masses, is a short life marred with personal tragedy.