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Louay Kayyali

(b. 1934) Born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1934, Kayyali studied decoration at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome from 1956 to 1961. He served as a teacher in several Syrian high schools before becoming a professor in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Damascus University. The first exhibition of his paintings was held in Aleppo in 1952. In 1967 his controversial exhibition FiSabil al-Qadiyyah (For the Sake of the Arab Cause) including thirty black and white works in charcoal, was criticized by many artists and journalists as being very pessimistic. After Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War in 1968 and the consequent occupation of Arab territories, Kayyali went into depression and destroyed all his works from the show. He died in 1978, believed to have committed suicide. Many of his works are now kept at the National Museum of Damascus and in private collections across the Arab world.