The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

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Egyptian Modern Art Museum: Discover Egypt’s Rich History in Art at Cairo Opera House

Egyptian Modern Art Museum: Discover Egypt’s Rich History in Art at Cairo Opera House
written by
Katie Dryden

Situated within the Cairo Opera House complex in Zamalek, the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art is an outstanding display of contemporary paintings and bronze sculptures by Egyptian artists. 

After recent renovations, the museum has opened up to the public once more with its exquisite display of some of the most popular paintings in Egypt.

One of these paintings is ‘The City’ by Mahmoud Said—a figurative and detailed portrayal of old Egyptian culture expressed through the style of the women’s clothes in a time when it was forbidden to reveal their faces to men. To the right, there is a man carrying a large container of juice with metal cups and special attire, these elements entwined with the old buildings and dusty scene suggest the time in which the painting is based upon.

The exhibition within this museum changes every three to five years though they also have a permanent collection on the first floor which remains as a representation of the many big names in Egypt such as Mahmoud Mokhtar. Despite the museum’s renovation after such a long closure, it was a shame to see that the upper floors are still not available for viewing, but on a positive note, the exhibition is completely free much more refreshing and modern than its neighbouring galleries.

In any gallery or museum, it is always a good thing to stop in your tracks and observe each piece of artwork rather than just taking a quick glance and moving onto the next one.  The paintings positioned upon the vast, white walls of the gallery space right from the very beginning are masterpieces.  One particular painting features a nun kneeling down to pray, cast in a glowing light within a dark scene. The title of this piece is simply ‘The Nun’, yet it is possible that it’s a representation of the Virgin Mary due to the vast size of the piece. The way the woman appears to be almost glowing and also the mere fact that the painting is positioned in such a way that the viewer needs to look up, therefore emphasising the sheer importance of the woman.

Inside the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art, the floor is made of shiny, polished marble and slopes down into the core which is where all the bronze statues are located – all of which are figurative, detailed and spectacular masterpieces.  Also on the outside of the gallery in the Opera grounds are many famous, large statues situated amongst the luscious greenery.  The environment itself is a beautiful and tranquil piece of art which is a home to several bronze creations including the large cast of Om Kalthoum.  Also due to its splendid location inside the Cairo Opera House Complex it is possible to visit the other galleries within the area such as the Al Bab Selim Gallery, the Palace of Arts and the Main Hall.

To take a walk around the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art is the ultimate artistic adventure with paintings and sculptures that will open your eyes to a new world; it’s not just about beauty but evoking emotions too.