وهبي الحريري آلرفاعي
Wahbi al-Hariri-Rifai in 1981
|Born||Mohamed Wahbi āl al-Hariri al-Rifai
Arabic: محمد وهبي آل الحريري الرفاعي
Aleppo, Syria, Ottoman Empire
|Died|| (aged 80)
|Spouse(s)||Widad Marachi (m. 1944–1994)|
Wahbi al-Hariri-Rifai Arabic: وهبي الحريري آلرفاعي (1914-16 August 1994) was a Syrian American artist who has often been called "the last of the classicists". As an artist he was remarkably prolific in the last years of his life despite a protracted and painful struggle with terminal cancer. He was also an accomplished architect, archaeologist, and author. His artwork has garnered international recognition and praise both in his lifetime and posthumously.
He has also been recognized as a significant Middle Eastern cultural pioneer for his role in the "establishment of the foundations of the Plastic arts movement" in the Levant and for mentoring many important Arab artists.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Last years
- 4 Contemporary exhibitions
- 5 Bibliography
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Wahbi al-Hariri was born in 1914 in Aleppo, Syria. His documented family tree spans over fourteen centuries and lists several notable ancestors including Al-Hariri of Basra, the 11th-century poet, philosopher, and linguist known for authoring the Maqamat al-Hariri; Ali al-Hariri-Rifa'i, the 13th-century Sufi theologian known for founding the Syrian Rifai order; Mustapha al-Hariri-Rifai, the 18th-century composer and theologian; and Abdelrahman al-Hariri-Rifai the 19th-century calligrapher and astronomer.
Formative years in Rome
Wahbi al-Hariri began drawing and sculpting as a child and had "inherent artistic talent and a consuming interest in the world around him". Recognizing his talent, his father supported his artistic development and encouraged him to travel to Italy in 1932 to formally study art. Al-Hariri was among the first contemporary students from the Middle East to train at the Reale Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome, one of the oldest and most important academies of fine arts in Italy.
In Rome, al-Hariri trained under Carlo Siviero, a prominent Academic artist. Carlo, who was president of the Accademia di San Luca and a member of the Consiglio Superiore di Belle Arti, became al-Hariri's mentor and a lifelong friend; they would remain in touch until Carlo's death in 1953. Al-Hariri also simultaneously studied archaeology and preservation at the Istituto Nazionale di Archeologia e Storia dell'Arte and from 1937 to 1939 participated in archaeological research and study in Greece. The Alta Cultura course that he attended on the island of Rhodes is that of Luigi Pernier fame.
"(...) intense and productive. It was academic training at its best, drawing from models, sometimes spending months on one charcoal study, copying the masters in museums, learning everything there was to know about the history and practice of art and archaeology."
Early art and archaeology in Syria
After returning to Syria in 1937 he taught art at the al-Mamoun (Tajhis al Oula) in Aleppo and also maintained a vibrant studio which also grew to be an intellectual hub. He taught periodic academy-style classes at his atelier, and organized and held gallery exhibitions with other Aleppine artists. There, he also hosted salons that attracted many contemporary philosophers and political thinkers. His work from that period included sculpture, oil painting, and photography.
As an art professor, he mentored future artists such as Fathi Kabbawah, Fateh Moudarres, Louay Kayyali, Ghaleb Salem, and Taleb Yazji; al-Hariri and his protégés are considered pioneers of the Nahda, the Levant's contemporary cultural and arts renaissance. According to Fateh Moudarres, whose surrealist work has earned international recognition, Al-Hariri was an influential mentor who nurtured Moudarres's formal technique and artistic style as well as enriched Moudarre's worldview:
"Wahbi Al-Hariri taught me elegance in drawing, how you should look at things with respect and pursue them accordingly, and the exact order of the universe. Indeed, it was a great opportunity, for I was taught at the hands of expert professors."
In addition to teaching and practicing art in Aleppo, al-Hariri also became actively engaged in archeology and was "appointed Inspector General of Historic Monuments and Sites." One of his early victories, as chronicled by French archaeologist and assyriologist Raymond-Jacques Tournay, O.P., was the retrieval of the stele of Tukulti-Ninurta II. Al-Hariri was also involved in the early efforts to preserve the historic ruins of the city of Palmyra. Contemporary archaeologist and Yale professor Harvey Weiss, director of Yale's Tell Leilan Project in Syria, credits him for early restoration and preservation projects in Palmyra.
Wahbi al-Hariri was an outspoken critic of the French occupation of Syria and "would often demonstrate against the French such that in March of 1941 he was arrested by the French colonial forces and detained for forty days." Undeterred, he maintained his objections and, in retaliation, French colonial forces set fire to his studio destroying much of his paintings and sculptures before a scheduled exhibition of his work.
According to Amer Moubayyed, an Aleppo historian, Wahbi al-Hariri:
"(...)preserved important archaeological sites throughout the country; he was not only a successful artist and professor, but was also a patriot (...) and a great artist who contributed to the renaissance of Arab art and was a great influence on many of his students (...)in 1940 he undertook the carving of the commemorative medallion of Dr. Reda Said, the founder of the Damascus University Faculties--which still prominently occupies the [wall above the] central landing of the grand staircase (...) and in 1946 he directed the archaeological missions at Tel Mari and Ra's Shamra. As the books on concerning Ebla indicate, this distinguished artist also directed the preservation of that archaeological site."
Paris and the Beaux-Arts
In 1948, two years after Syria’s independence from France, "his talent won him a scholarship to study architecture at Yale University, but his artistic drive took him to Paris" instead to study art and architecture at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, as well as conservation and historic preservation at the École du Louvre. At the Beaux-Arts he was taught by Prix de Rome laureates Emmanuel Pontremoli and André Leconte with whom he would remain friends.
In 1954 Wahbi al-Hariri received his architectural DPLG with honors and was awarded the highly coveted Prix du Meilleur Diplôme by the Société des Architectes Diplômés par le Gouvernement. The award, presented with a medal struck in bronze—which was designed for the société in 1896 by Louis Bottée—was bestowed annually upon the preeminent graduating student of architecture.
Return to Syria
Shortly after graduating from the Beaux-Arts he won the 1954 international competition for the design of the national broadcast headquarters in Damascus. Later that year he was named architecte en chef, chief architect, of the Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums in Damascus. During this time, in addition to his art atelier, he maintained a successful architectural practice and organized archaeological and historic preservation initiatives. His architectural work in the 1950s is recognized as influential in contemporary Levant architecture.Alexander Prokhorov cites that "architects such as Wahbi Al-Hariri sought solutions that would reconcile modern industrial designs with national forms." He designed several large projects in the 1950s. In 1956 he won the design of the Adnan al-Malki memorial in the heart of Damascus. By 1959 his reputation had grown such that he was invited by the Association of German Architects and Engineers to lecture on contemporary Syrian art and architecture at the universities of Bonn, Hanover, Hamburg, Berlin, and Frankfurt.
His watercolors and drawings from this period document his numerous trips around the country and "reflect his vision of a region on the verge of dramatic change."
In 1962 al-Hariri won an important commission to renovate the historic Khalid ibn al-Walid Mosque, in Homs, and design its surrounding plaza. The 1960s in Syria, however, were marked by national unease and political instability and in1963 a military coup caused the cancellation of a large exhibition of his artwork.
As frustrations with the political climate in Syria grew, King Faisal extended al-Hariri an invitation to Saudi Arabia in 1964. The following year al-Hariri moved to the Kingdom and was appointed chief architect of the Ministry for Public Works.
Al-Hariri's first major commission in Saudi Arabia was the 1965 design of an extensive master-plan for the new campus of the university in Medina which was executed under his supervision. His design made allowance for future growth and has informed the university's expansions over the years. In his capacity as chief architect, al-Hariri designed and led projects all over the Kingdom. As he traveled throughout the country, al-Hariri grew increasingly interested in the history and culture of Arabia. In the late 1960s the many facets of the Arabian Peninsula's heritage were unknown and, as is possible with fast-paced development, were in danger. Al-Hariri resolved to preserve and document the kingdom's traditional architectural and artistic heritage and in the 1970s he embarked on explorations throughout the region to "document the diversity of architectural styles, building materials and geographic regions that exist in Saudi Arabia."
After years of travel and research, "Al-Hariri produced a collection of superb drawings that has been hailed as one of the finest records of Saudi Arabia's architectural past", wrote Helen Khal; his "drawings are more than illustrations of old buildings and historical monuments. They reveal a devotional bond between artist and subject in a creative process." The drawings were the product of "intensive travel throughout the kingdom to draw on location. For months at a time, he would travel to remote towns and villages, carrying with him only his art supplies."
In 1981, with the completion of his important collection of drawings, a full-size facsimile edition of this collection, titled Traditional Architecture in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, was published in Florence, Italy, by Fratelli Alinari Istituto di Edizioni Artistiche with the assistance of al-Hariri's son, Mokhless, a Washington, D.C. architect and also a graduate of the Beaux-Arts.
Copies of the book can also be found in the collections of The Library of Congress, the Royal Library at Buckingham Palace, the library of Emperor Akihito of Japan, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, as well as several other libraries worldwide. The publication of this hand-printed art collector's folio brought about worldwide recognition of his artistic work. Select drawings were exhibited at several American venues, including the 1982 World's Fair and the Southern Arts Federation. The exhibition tour culminated with a 1984 solo exhibition of the collection at the Smithsonian Institutionin Washington, D.C. With it, he became the first living artist to be honored with a solo show at the Smithsonian. The exhibition was curated by Esin Atil, Ph.D., then curator of Islamic arts at the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art. The complete collection of drawings, which never before had all been publicly shown, were exhibited from October 10 to 7 November 1984 at the Smithsonian castle.
Dr. Atil explains that "inasmuch as some of the buildings depicted are no longer standing" the significance of the drawings is that they "provide a permanent record of the buildings' existence" and as such they "preserve a historical record of the architecture of Saudi Arabia."
"We are given a privileged look at such villages, and other extraordinary manifestations of traditional Saudi architecture, in sensitive pencil drawings by Wahbi Hariri-Rifai (...) His Beaux-Arts training shows in the enormous skill with which he draws (...) A modern scholar might be content with photographs, especially in areas where mid-afternoon temperatures rise beyond 110 degrees Fahrenheit, but Hariri-Rifai obviously believes that there is something more to be learned--absorbed, really--in the patient exercise of hand and pencil upon a blank sheet of paper. This conviction is our good fortune, for the drawings combine an archaeologist's respect for the facts with an artist's sensitivity to the spirit of a place."
This period in Saudi Arabia was integral and "he developed his unique style and excelled in the use of graphite." Atil explains that "By mastering this monochromatic medium, he absolved himself from conforming to coloristic expressions." she also remarks that "graphite was at once strong enough to reflect his artistic passion, yet gentle and lyrical enough to express his emotions and spirit."
Books on Saudi Arabia
During his time in Saudi Arabia al-Hariri also published two other books that documented Saudi Arabia's culture and heritage, Asir: Heritage and Civilization, published in 1987, and The Heritage of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, published in 1990. Both featured "extensive" color photography and were co-authored with al-Hariri's son, Mokhless. Many sites documented by the books have been subject to changes from development, vandalism, or other external influences and as such the book has been used as a primary source for studies of ancient Arabian history. The Heritage of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was the product of "15 years of travel (...) as well as the product of an endless cycle of research, review, and evaluation." The book was featured in reviews by national newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Washington Times review of the book describes that
"The senior Al-Hariri-Rifai traces the history of the region and the development of the Arabic architectural styles, while his son's photos offer a colorful, compelling view of the scenery."
In 1991, in addition to other international citations and honors, France further recognized his artistic achievements by awarding him the highly regarded distinction of chevalier of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Final work, from Spain to China
With the "active participation of his wife, Widad Marachi and the earnest encouragement H.R.H. Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, then governor of Riyadh, and numerous dignitaries" he was inspired to travel "from Washington, D.C. to Riyadh, and from Spain to China" to identify and document the most significant historic mosques of the world.
During the last four years of his life while battling cancer, his spiritual drive and artistic talent inspired him to travel around the world to compile images of the Spiritual Edifices of Islam. (...) Nonetheless, remarkably he completed close to 100 paintings and drawings within this period that embodied the final evolution of his distinctive classical style.
The finished collection, completed with the help of al-Hariri's son, was ultimately assembled posthumously in 1994 and was named The Spiritual Edifices of Islam as per the artist's wishes.
Death and legacy
After a long struggle with cancer, Wahbi al-Hariri-Rifai, "known as the last of the classicists, died (...) at the age of 80" on 16 August 1994, in Aleppo, the birthplace he had not visited for over twenty years. Dr. Esin Atil notes that until the end he overtly maintained an optimistic view of his condition and remained driven and "inspired by an unyielding thirst for knowledge and constant search for beauty." A couple of streets in Aleppo were named in his honor after his death. The Swedish consulate in Aleppo is located on one of these streets, Mohamed Wahbi al-Hariri Street, in the Sebil Area. After his death, a large number of his early oil paintings, watercolors, and photographs—some dating back to 1933—were found, having been apparently saved from the initial studio fire that destroyed much of his other works of that period. After undergoing extensive restoration several pieces were included in a retrospective collection and were shown to the public as part of a travelling exhibition of al-Hariri's art.
According to Dr. Atil, Wahbi al-Hariri is referred to as "the last of the classicists because his work transcends time, period, and region." She explains that:
"His work is meaningful to and understood by all peoples at different periods and regios, and in different cultural and ethnic traditions. (...) his strokes are equally strong and soft, controlled and impressionistic, lyrical and passionate. [His works] display a technical virtuosity with a most difficult medium. His compositions are masterful and harmoniously balance the fills and voids. The overall impression is at once spontaneous and delicate, calculated and powerful."
The majority of his work is held by the family. His works can also be found in several private or national collections and are rarely exchanged or offered on the public market.
The Spiritual Edifices of Islam (traveling exhibit)
Also known in Arabic as Buyut Allah Arabic: بيوت الله, the Spiritual Edifices of Islam traveling exhibit made its 1999 debut at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. before an international tour that took the exhibit to many other significant world venues.
"The Spiritual Edifices of Islam (...) features 33 original graphite drawings by internationally acclaimed Arab-American artist Wahbi Al-Hariri-Rifai (1914-1994) depicting some of the world's most significant mosques. Also included in the exhibit are earlier works by the artist in watercolor and pastel."
"My last meeting with him was one month before his death" writer Lisa Kaaki recalled in an article she wrote for Arab News in 2002; she wrote that she "remembered the unique journey which took him from Spain to China, looking for the most significant mosques in the world." She expressed that she "was both relieved and deeply moved when [she] earned that the drawings of the mosques were part of an exhibition at the National Museum in Riyadh."
The international tour of al-Hariri's artwork featured two exhibition collections, The Spiritual Edifices of Islam historic mosques collection, and the Wahbi al-Hariri Artist Retrospective collection of 30 original oil, watercolor, and graphite pieces that form a broad retrospective of the artist’s work. The retrospective collection spans a sixty-year period (1930s–1990s) and includes a special selection of works that al-Hariri completed in Canada, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.
Exhibit tour highlights
The Spiritual Edifices of Islam traveling exhibit toured many significant international museums:
|Beit Al Quran Museum||Manama, Bahrain||September - October 2002|
|Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||May - September 2002|
|National Museum of Saudi Arabia||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||January - February 2002|
|Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts||Amman, Jordan||November 2001 - January 2002|
|Arab Towns Organization||Doha, Qatar||March - April 2001|
|Smithsonian Institution||Washington, D.C., United States||October2001|
From Washington To Riyadh (exhibition)
In May 2012, the National Museum of Saudi Arabia hosted an exhibition titled From Washington to Riyadh: A Collection of Artwork by Wahbi al-Hariri-Rifai. The exhibition featured "fifty graphite, watercolor, and pastel drawings depicting the architectural heritage of Saudi Arabia and historic monuments of Washington, D.C."
Many luminaries and high-profile guests attended the exhibition opening. Among those present, Dr. Janet Breslin-Smith, wife of United States ambassador James B. Smith, "expressed her pleasure to participate in the celebration of the works of Arab-American Artist Wahbi Al-Hariri"; she also noted that it was "the first time that the exhibition is held outside the United States of America since its inception in 1984 at Smithsonian Institution in Washington."
Princess Adelah bint Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who was active in the exhibition's planning in her capacity as president of the museum'sConsultative Committee of the National Museum was also present to officiate the opening. In her remarks she said that "The purpose of having this exhibition at the National Museum is to focus on [Al-Hariri's] artwork which reflects the deep-rooted culture of the Kingdom". "Art also represents the bridge of knowledge that links past and present", she explains, in her preface to the exhibition book, and that al-Hariri, whom she considers "an illustrious name in history's memory", was an artist "who closely observed the world around him and recorded it through his passion for art." According to the princess the exhibition From Washington to Riyadh is "a tribute to the prolific artistic journey of Wahbi Al-Hariri. It recognizes him as one of the great masters who left us exceptional legacies and whose art attests to their creativity and ability to express with sensitivity the beauty that surrounded him."
"This international artist has been acclaimed for his creative contributions to the fields of architecture, history, and antiquities as exemplified by his thorough documentation of the Kingdom's heritage and historic sites. The exhibition includes a valuable collection of drawings that document the architecture and heritage of the Kingdom and highlight significant landmarks in the US capital."
The exhibition was sponsored in part by the United States Department of State through the Embassy of the United States in Riyadh and was considered by Ambassador Smith to have been a significant cultural exchange initiative.
- Traditional Architecture in the Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaLCCN 83-450071 OCLC 9322259, 220105709, 461796491, 431734649, 729119036, 165397518
- Asir: Heritage and Civilization OCLC 21917711, 122745999, 786718031
- The Heritage of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia OCLC 23255261 LCCN 90-80042 ISBN 978-0-9624483-0-0
- Traditional Architecture of Saudi Arabia: Drawings by Wahbi al-Hariri-Rifai
- Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.
- The Spiritual Edifices of Islam OCLC 52923517 ISBN 978-0-9624483-1-7
- The Spiritual Edifices of Islam: Wahbi Hariri-RifaiOCLC 56990773
- National Museum of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh.
- Mahligai Rohani Islam: Klasikisme yang terakhir OCLC 850890659 ISBN 9789832591016
- Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.
- From Washington to Riyadh ISBN 978-0-9624483-4-8
- National Museum of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh.
- Kaaki, Lisa (25 January 2002). "Wahbi Al-Hariri - the last of the classicists". Arab News. Saudi Research & Publishing Company. Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
- "The Spiritual Edifices of Islam". Virtual Malaysia: The Official E-Tourism Portal for the Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia. The Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia. 2002. Archived from the original on 19 June 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
From the 3rd May - 3rd July 2002 the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia will host a travelling exhibition entitled "The Spiritual Edifices of Islam", on loan from GDG Exhibits Trust, Washington D.C. The collection features 33 graphite sketches of some of the most significant mosques of the world, sketched on location by the late Wahbi al-Hariri Rifai, the last of the Classicists. [...] During the last four years of his life while battling cancer, his spiritual drive and artistic talent inspired him to travel around the world to compile images of the Spiritual Edifices of Islam. [...] Nonetheless, remarkably he completed close to 100 paintings and drawings within this period that embodied the final evolution of his distinctive classical style. [...] inspired by an unyielding thirst for knowledge and constant search for beauty.
- "Smithsonian Institution Presents Exhibition of Drawings Showing the Traditional Architecture of Saudi Arabia" (Press Release) (Available from Smithsonian archive)). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, The Office of Public Affairs. 24 September 1984. SI-368-84.
The press is invited to preview the exhibition [...] Esin Atil, curator of the exhibition, and Professor Al-Hariri will be present to discuss the artworks [...] Twenty-two drawings of Saudi Arabia's architectural monuments by Professor Wahbi Al-Hariri-Rifai, a distinguished Syrian-born architectural historian and artist, will be shown in an exhibition, "Traditional Architecture of Saudi Arabia," [...at] the Smithsonian Institution Building (the Castle) from Oct. 10 through Nov. 7. [...] Wahbi Al-Hariri-Rifai was born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1914. After graduating from the Accademia Reale di Belle Arti in Rome in 1937, he taught and practiced art in Syria, where he was appointed inspector general of historical monuments and sites. In 1948, he moved to Paris to study architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. There he received his degree with highest honors and was awarded the Bronze Medal of Distinction.
- نعال، مختار فوزي ( Naʻʻāl, Mukhtār Fawzī) (2005). ينبوع الذهب فيما كتب عن حلب : تاريخيا - عسكريا - أدبيا -فنيا [Best Writing on Aleppo: History, Military, Literature, and Art] (in Arabic). Aleppo, Syria: دار الرضوان (Dār al-Raḍwān). OCLC 72522697.
أسس عدد من الرواد في حلب الحركة التشكيلية وهم كانوا من الأوائل الذين درسوا الفنون الجميلة في روما وباريس في منتصف الثلاثينات مثل : غالب سالم ، وهبي الحريري فتحي محمد، زارة كابلان، فساهم هؤلاء في إرساء القواعد التشكيلية في حلب من خلال المعاهد و المراسم و المعارض التي كانوا يقيمونها، ثم ذكر المؤلف الذين أدعوا في الساحه التشكيلية السورية و العربي (The foundations of the Plastic Arts Movement were laid in Aleppo by several pioneers, the first to pursue training in the fine arts in Rome and Paris in the mid Thirties, notably: Ghaleb Salem, Wahbi Hariri, Fathi Muhammad, Zarah Kablan, and established a base of fine arts in Aleppo through the academies, ateliers, and exhibitions that they organized; the author notes that those mentioned excelled in the public arts arena in Syria and the Arab world).
- "The Heritage of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Press Kit" (PDF) (Press release). Washington, D.C.: GDG Publications. 10 October 1990. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- Khal, Helen (8 November 1984). "Architectural Legacy of Saudi Arabia". Arab Perspectives=Mawāqif ʻArabīyah. Washington, D.C.: Arab Information Center. 5: 4–11. ISSN 0733-5385. LCCN 82644162. OCLC 11568009. Archived from the original (Article) on 23 June 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
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In 1919, he was elected "Accademico di S. Luca" and member of the council of the "Società Amatori and Cultori delle Belle Arti". Also he worked as art critic for major Italian newspapers. In 1921, he was elected president of the "Accademia di S. Luca" and in 1922 he was elected member of the "Consiglio Superiore delle Belle Arti". After the advent of Fascism, he was forced to resign from these offices, but was later reelected president of the "Accademia di S. Luca", an office that Siviero held until his death.
- Handbook of National Commissions. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. 1951. OCLC 1597088. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
Professor Carlo Siviero, president of the San Luca National Academy ; member of the Higher Council for Fine Arts ; professor of painting at the Rome Academy of Fine Arts.
- al-Hariri-Rifai, Wahbi. "Wahbi al-Hariri-Rifai Curicculum Vitae" (PDF). WAH Repository. GDG Exhibits Trust. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- "Prof. Luigi Pernier". Nature. 18 September 1937. pp. 495–496. doi:10.1038/140495b0. Retrieved 3 August 2013.
- "Artist, author Helen Khal dies of stroke". The Daily Star. Beirut. 21 May 2009. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
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1952: The first exhibition his painting were at Al-Tajhis Al-Oula School at Aleppo Al Mamoun
- المأمون، الذكرى المئوية، حلب ١٨٩٢-١٩٩٢ [Al-Ma'mun: Centennial Collected Papers and Documents, Aleppo 1892-1992]. Aleppo, Syria: دار القلم العربي (Dar al-Qalam al-'Arabi). 1992. OCLC 4770608204.
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ولكن كان لفن الرسم النصيب الأوفى اذ نبغ فيه عدد من الرسامين المرموقين الذين استُقبلت لوحاتهم في المعارض المحلية واحيانا الدولية ونخص بالذكر منهم الأساتذة: وهبي الحريري المهندس، غالب سالم، نديم بخاش، نوبار صباغ، لؤي كيالي، ونبغ فاتح المدرس (But it was in drawing that several artists excelled with many being featured in national exhibitions and, sometimes, international ones, among which were prominently at the forefront: the architect Wahbi al-Hariri, Ghalib Salem, Nadim Bakhash, Nubar Sabbagh, Louay Kayyali, and Fateh Moudarres.)
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في التعرّف إلى المبادئ الأولية لفن الرسم والتصوير حين كان طالباً في /التجهيز الأولى/ من خلال إشراف الأساتذة «منيب النقشبندي» و«غالب سالم» و«وهبي الحريري». ([Fathi Muhammad Kabbawah] had the opportunity to study the principles and techniques of drawing and painting while he was a student at the Tajhiz under the auspices of professors Munib Naqshbandi, Ghalib Salem, and Wahbe al-Hariri.)
- حمارنة، سمر (Ḥamārnah, Samar), ed. (1999). كيف يرى فاتح المدرس [Fateh Moudarres's Point of View]. Damascus, Syria: Nabīl al-Quṣayyir and Samar Ḥamārnah. p. 54. LCCN 99904372. OCLC 43253386. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
المهندس (وهبي الحريري) فعلمنا الأناقه في الرسم و كيف يجب أن ننظر إلى الأشياء باحترام و أن نجريها بشكل يتناسب و نظام الكون الدقيق . نعم لقد كانت فرصه عظيمه إذ تعلمت على أيدي أساتذه خبراء (the architect Wahbi Al-Hariri taught me elegance in drawing, how you should look at things with respect and pursue them accordingly, and the exact order of the universe. Indeed it was a great opportunity, for I was taught at the hands of expert professors).
- Tournay, Raymond-Jacques; Saouaf, Soubhi (1952). "Stèle de Tukulti-Ninurta II" [Stele of Tukulti-Ninurta II]. Les Annales Archéologiques de Syrie (in Arabic, English, and French). Direction générale des antiquités de Syrie. 2: 169. ISSN 0570-1554. OCLC 1481227. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
Quelques jours plus tard, le directeur d'alors du service des Antiquités, l'émir Djafar Abd-el-Kader, accompagné de M. Wahbi Hariri, alors inspecteur du service des Antiquités d'Alep, se trouvaient en tournée dans la région.
- "Harvey Weiss". Yale University. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- Weiss, Harvey (1985). Ebla to Damascus: Art and Archaeology of Ancient Syria. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. p. 384. ISBN 978-0-86528-029-8. LCCN 85014333. OCLC 12262007. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
These restorations were the work of several architects: W. Hariri, N. Khier, A. Moufti, R. Douhman, Y. Jabali, A.Ostrasz, and J. Seigne.
- قدسي، فراس (Qudsi, Firas) (15 August 2010). "محمد وهبي الحريري" بصمة تميّز على الساحة التشكيلية. eSyria (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 19 June 2013.
وحينما عاد إلى "حلب" عمل مدرساً لمادة الفنون الجميلة في ثانوية "المأمون"- التجهيز الأولى- وافتتح معهداّ لتعليم الرسم للشباب فكان من تلاميذه "طالب يازجي"، "فاتح المدرس"، "لؤي كيالي"، "فتحي قباوة" لهذا يعتبر من الفنانين الأوائل في سورية ممن أرسوا قواعد الحركة التشكيلية» [...] وتابع "مكي" بالقول: «وبعد ذلك سافر الفنان "الحريري" إلى باريس ليدرس في معهد الهندسة المعمارية فكان أول عربي يتخرج من هذا المعهد. ثم انتسب إلى مدرسة "علم الآثار" في متحف "اللوفر" الفرنسي وحين عودته إلى سورية قام بتصميم ساحة "عدنان المالكي" بـ "دمشق" [...] مؤرخ حلب الباحث "عامر مبيض" تحدث عن بعض المحطات الهامة في حياة الفنان "الحريري" حينما قال: «أشرف على إنقاذ الآثار العظيمة في سائر أنحاء القطر لم يكن فناناً ومعلماً ناجحاً فحسب بل كان أيضاً وطنياً ومكافحاً ناضل ضد الاستعمار الفرنسي وكثيراً ما مشى في مقدمات المظاهرات وفي آذار من عام /1941/ ألقى عليه القبض جنود الاستعمار وأودعوه السجن لمدة أربعين يوماً لقد كان مدرساً ناجحاً وفناناً عظيماً اشترك في نهضة الفن العربي الأصيل وكان أثره على طلابه كبيراً، وتلقى العديد من خطابات الشكر من رؤساء وملوك دول العالم قام برسم لوحة بمقياس كبير طول /120/ سم للزعيم "إبراهيم هنانو" والتي أهداها إلى المكتبة الوطنية بـ "حلب" وفي عام /1940/ قام بنحت اللوحة التذكارية للدكتور "رضا سعيد" مؤسس كلية الطب في "دمشق" ومازالت تحتل صدارة المدرج الجامعي حتى الآن أشرف على حفريات "تل ماري" عام /1946/ و"رأس شمرا". كما أشارت الكتب التي تحدثت عن "ايبلا" إلى قيام هذا الفنان المرموق بترميم الآثار هناك وفي عام /1965/ رافق اللجنة المكلفة بترميم قبة الصخرة في مدينة "القدس" ورسم أروع اللوحات للقبة وللمدينة قام بتصميم مبنى الجامعة الإسلامية في "المدينة المنورة" وفي عام /1984/ أقيم له معرض فني في أم المتاحف في "واشنطن" "سمونيان" وهو أول فنان سوري تعرض أعماله في هذا المعرض العالمي. رسم لوحات متعددة لريف "حلب" القديم تعد وثائقية وقام بتصميم الساحة والحديقة المحيطة بجامع "خالد بن الوليد" بـ "حمص" وفي عام /1992/ منحته الحكومة الفرنسية وسام الشرف بدرجة فارس للآداب والفنون لما تميز . (When he returned to Aleppo, he taught fine arts at Al-Tajhiz and also taught at his studio, among his students were Talib Yazji, Fateh Moudarres, Louay Kayyali, and Fathi Kabbawah; he is one of the founders of the fine arts movement in Syria. [...] [Artist and historian Muhammad] Mackie writes that "he then traveled to Paris to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts School of Architecture and was the first Arab to graduate from there. He then studied archaeology at the Louvre. When he returned to Syria he designed the Adnan al-Malki memorial circle. [...] Aleppo historian Amer Moubayyed recounts some of Hariri's accomplishments "He preserved important archaeological sites throughout the country; he was not only a successful artist and professor, but was also a patriot who fought against the French colonizers and would often demonstrate against the French such that in March of 1941 he was arrested by the French colonial forces who detained him for forty days. Indeed he was a successful teacher and a great artist who contributed to the renaissance of Arab art and was a great influence on many of his students [...] He drew the large (120 cm) portrait of the leader Ibrahim Hanano which he endowed to the National Library in Aleppo, and in 1940 he undertook the carving of the commemorative medallion of Dr. Reda Said, the founder of Damascus University Faculties--which still prominently occupies the [wall above the] central landing of the grand staircase [of the university's old main building] and in 1946 he directed the archaeological digs at Tel Mari and Ra's Shamra. As the books concerning Ebla indicate, this distinguished artist also directed the preservation of that archaeological site. In 1965 he accompanied the [international] committee charged with the restoration of Dome of the Rock in the city of Jerusalem and composed the finest drawings of the Dome, and in Medina designed the [campus and buildings] of the University Islamic University of Madinah. And in 1984 an exhibition of his work was held at the premiere world museum
- "Wahbi al-Hariri-Rifai Corinthian Column Teple of Vesta 1945". WAH Repository. GDG Exhibits Trust. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
- Abu-Fadil, Magda (1985). "An Arabian heritage in peril: Magda Abu-Fadil profiles an artist who has produced a visual record of Saudi Arabia's traditional architecture". The Middle East. London: IC Publications Limited. Issues 123-134: 27–28. ISSN 0305-0734. LCCN 86658595. OCLC 12251136. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
A distinguished Syrian-born architectural historian and artist has achieved a life-time's ambition with his recent exhibition of drawings of Saudi Arabia's architectural heritage. The 22 original pencil drawings were seen for the first time at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington last year. Professor Wahbi al-Hariri-Rifai has lived in Saudi Arabia since 1964, and has been actively involved in archeological research and the preservation of historical monuments. He has been concerned at the rapid disappearance of many styles of architecture in the recent building boom, and has, over the last 15 years, tried to document them before they disappear. Hariri was born in Aleppo in 1914. After graduating from the Academia Reale di Belli Arti and the Danti Alighieri Institute in Rome, he returned to Syria and later became inspector-general of historical monuments. In 1948 he went on to study architecture at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and the Louvre in Paris. The group of drawings in the exhibition has been collected in a limited facsimile edition of 2,000 copies, entitled Traditional Architecture in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which has been distributed to heads of state, museums, libraries, and universities.
- "Nicholas Grimshaw, PPRA". Royal Academy of Arts. Archived from the original on 31 July 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
1965 Bronze Medal awarded by the Societe d’ Architectes Diplome par le Gouvernement (SADG) France for the Best Student Thesis.
- Prokhorov, Aleksandr Mikhaĭlovich, ed. (1982). Great Soviet Encyclopedia. New York: Macmillan. p. 699. OCLC 810278. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
Syrian architecture of the 1920s and 1930s followed French styles. In the 1950s architects such as Wahbi Al-Hariri sought solutions that would reconcile modern industrial designs with national forms.
- "Veranstaltungskalender" [Events Diary]. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Frakfurm am Main. 15 April 1959. p. 17. ISSN 0174-4909. OCLC 224596624.
Deutscher Architekten-und Ingenieurverband: 19.00, Gastätte „Schultheiß im Westend“, Wiesenau 1, Farblichtbildervortrag über syrische Architektur (Architekt Wahbi Al-Hariri). (German Architects and Engineers Association present at 19:00, at Gastätte "Schultheiß im Westend", Wiesenau 1, a color slide lecture about Syrian architecture by architect Wahbi Al-Hariri)
- Jeffrey K. Sosland (1 June 2008). Cooperating Rivals: The Riparian Politics of the Jordan River Basin. SUNY Press. pp. 78–79. ISBN 978-0-7914-7202-6. OCLC 76073899. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
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Art exhibitions send a very important message in the dialogue between different nations, said Princess Adela bint Abdullah, chairman of the Consulting Committee for the National Museum. At an exhibition on Sunday by the late artist Wahbi Al-Hariri Al-Refaei, entitled "From Washington to Riyadh," the princess held a joint press conference with US Cultural Attaché Catharine Schwitzer. Princess Adela said that the national museum developed various activities to enhance the cultural and artistic awareness of society. "The purpose of having this exhibition at the National Museum is to focus on Al-Refaei's artwork which reflects the deep-rooted culture of the Kingdom," said Princess Adela, stressing the initiatives aimed at focusing on Saudi culture internationally. She also said that paying attention to Islamic art and supporting Saudi artists, through international exhibitions, is essential to shed light on Saudi culture. The US cultural attaché said that in 1965, as a response to late King Faisal's invitation, Al-Refaei visited the Kingdom for the first time, which resulted in a growing interest in the following years in the culture and art of the Arabian Peninsula.
- Al-Hariri, M. Wahbi (January 1969). ": Planning of the buildings and facilities of the Islamic University in Medina; its method, objectives and future". IU Scholars. Saudi Arabia: Islamic University in Madinah. 3: 116–125. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "The Work of Wahbi al-Hariri-Rifai: Saudi Arabia's Rich Building Heritage". The Jerusalem Star. 30 May 1985. p. 6. OCLC 503765762.
But for Syrian-born architect Wahbi Al-Hariri-Rifai, this architecture has been the focus of 15 years of research and documentation. [...] During his time in Saudi Arabia Prof. Al-Hariri-Rifai has produced a large body of drawings, rendered in graphite on paper, which document the diversity of architectural styles, building materials and geographic regions that exist in Saudi Arabia.
- Khal, Helen (8 November 1984). "Architectural Legacy of Saudi Arabia". Arab Perspectives=Mawāqif ʻArabīyah. Washington, D.C.: Arab Information Center. 5: 4–11. ISSN 0733-5385. LCCN 82644162. OCLC 11568009. Archived from the original (Article) on 23 June 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a vast, ancient land that presents striking contrasts between a heritage as old as the origins of the Arab people and modern development impressive for its scope and technology. Like other countries in the grip of progress, Saudi Arabia is trying to preserve its traditions while it creates the bases for a secure future. But it is not easy to save vestiges of the past, especially fine old buildings, from being swept away on the tide of development [...] One man who contributed to this effort is Wahbi al-Hariri-Rifai, a Syrian-born architectural historian and artist, who This was made possible through the reproduction of the drawings, full size, in an impressive book, Traditional Architecture in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The volume is a special edition of 2,000 copies only, printed in Florence, Italy, under the personal supervision of the artist himself. Al-Hariri is working on a companion volume, which will focus on the history and substance of traditional Saudi architecture, including drawings, photographs and detailed descriptions of techniques and materials. It is only then, Al-Hariri says, that he will have completed this self-appointed task, as an architect and an artist. Helen Khal is a well known Washington art critic.
- al-Hariri-Rifai, Muhammad Wahbi (1981). التراث المعماري في المملكة العربية السعودية (al-Turāth al-miʻmārī fī al-Mamlakah al-ʻArabīyah al-Saʻūdīyah)Traditional Architecture in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (in Arabic and English). Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and Florence, Italy: Saudi Research and Development Corporation, with Fratelli Alinari Istituto di Edizioni Artistiche. LCCN 83450071. OCLC 9322259. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- Martin, Frank (8 June 2000). "Exhibit presents eclectic array of art". The Post and Courier. Charleston, SC. p. 16-D. ISSN 1061-5105. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
Curated by Dr. Mokhless Al-Hariri a graduate of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, and juried with the assistance of the Washington-based Georgetown Design Group (...)
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Ce volume de grande dimension reproduit des dessins au crayon représentant des immeubles ou des ensembles architecturaux situés en différents points du territoire d'Arabie Saoudite.
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- From Washington to Riyadh: A Collection of Artwork by Wahbi al-Hariri-Rifai (PDF). Washington, D.C.: GDG Publications, National Museum of Saudi Arabia. 2012. pp. 7–15.
- "Esin Atil Bio". University of Maryland. Archived from the original on 5 August 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
In 1970, Dr. Atil joined the Smithsonian Institution as the Curator of Islamic Art at the Freer Gallery of Art, a post which she held for fifteen years. She later served as Historian of Islamic Art at the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, two Smithsonian museums devoted to Asian art. After her retirement in 1993, she was appointed Research Associate at the Freer and Sackler Galleries, and National Museum of Natural History.
- "Traditional Architecture of Saudi Arabia". Smithsonian Past Exhibits. Archived from the original on 6 August 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- Bushnaq, Mary Jane (15 October 1984). "Smithsonian Castle Exhibit Features Drawings of Historic Saudi Arabian Regional Architecture for Museum Visitors". Saudi Report. Houston, Texas: Saudi Research & Marketing: 5. ISSN 0278-8772. LCCN 81646044. OCLC 7885194.
"These drawings preserve a historical record of the architecture of Saudi Arabia." The drawings referred by Dr. Esin Atil, curator of the exhibit, "Traditional Architecture of Saudi Arabia," are 22 original graphite pencil sketches by Professor Wahbi Al-Hariri-Rifai. [...] Dr. Atil noted that "inasmuch as some of the buildings depicted are no longer standing, they provide a permanent record of the buildings' existence." [...] Commented Atil, "The drawings show the artist's interpretation of every detail, evoking nuances difficult to capture in photographic techniques." [...] Delighted with an opportunity to educate the approximately 900,00 visitors to the Smithsonian Castle, Atil chose to highlight the historical focus of Hariri-Rifai's drawings and show the impact of the environment and outside influences on the architecture.
- Forgey, Benjamin (22 October 1984). "Village Views of Saudi Arabia". The Washington Post. C7.
We are given a privileged look at such villages, and other extraordinary manifestations of traditional Saudi architecture, in sensitive pencil drawings by Wahbi Hariri-Rifai, on view through Nov. 7 in the Smithsonian Castle. Hariri-Rifai, 70, is a distinguished architect...Hariri-Rifai was born in Syria and was educated as an architect [...] His Beaux-Arts training shows in the enormous skill with which he draws [...] A modern scholar might be content with photographs, especially in areas where mid-afternoon temperatures rise beyond 110 degrees Fahrenheit, but Hariri-Rifai obviously believes that there is something more to be learned--absorbed, really--in the patient exercise of hand and pencil upon a blank sheet of paper. This conviction is our good fortune, for the drawings combine an archaeologist's respect for the facts with an artist's sensitivity to the spirit of a place
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- Wahbi Hariri-Rifai; National Museum (Saudi Arabia); Georgetown Design Group (2002). The Spiritual Edifices of Islam: Wahbi Al-Hiriri-Rifai. GDG Exhibits Trusts. pp. 1–6. OCLC 56990773. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
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The Spiritual Edifices of Islam is a Smithsonian traveling exhibit that features 33 original graphite drawings by internationally acclaimed Arab-American artist Wahbi Al-Hariri-Rifai (1914-1994) depicting some of the world's most significant mosques. Also included in the exhibit are earlier works by the artist in watercolor and pastel. Beit al-Qur'an Museum, Manama, Bahrain, through November 1.
- معرض بيوت الله [Spiritual Edifices of Islam Exhibit]. أفكار=Afkār (National government publication) (in Arabic). Amman, Jordan: Dāʼirat al-Thaqāfah wa-al-Funūn. January 2002. LCCN 79232359. OCLC 5175586. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
و في المتحف الوطني الأردني للفنون الجميله افتتحت جلالتها معرض الفنان السوري (وهبي الحريري) والذي جاء تحت عنوان (بيوت الله) و قد ضم المعرض جناحين: الأول أحتوى على (١٨) لوحة أما الجناح الثاني فقد ضم (٣٣) لوحة صور من خلالها المساجد في جميع أنحاء العالم و زخارف العمارة (And in the National Gallery of Fine Arts of Jordan, Her Majesty [Queen Rania] opened the exhibit of Syrian artist Wahbi al-Hariri that was titled The Spiritual Edifices of Islam and featured two collections: the first included 18 pieces (retrospective collection of the artist's work) while the second featured 33 pieces portraying the most significant mosques throughout the entire world).
- "From Washington to Riyadh Introduction". GDG Exhibits Trust. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
- "'Spiritual Edifices of Islam' Showcase". New Straits Times. 21 May 2002. p. 7. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
- Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia - Spiritual Edifices of Islam Showcase
- The spiritual edifices of Islam : Wahbi Al-Hiriri-Rifai
- Gallery – Enjoy the Events Placed on Jordanhere.com
- Wahbi Al Hariri-last of the Classicists: Unyielding thirst to paint, THE STAR - The Star (Jordan, Middle East) | HighBeam Research
- Fine Arts Press Conference - Enjoy the Events Placed on Jordanhere.com
- "Opening of the exhibition "from Washington to Riyadh" at the National Museum". Ministry of Culture and Information. Archived from the original on 19 June 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
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Princess Adelah bint Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, President of Advisory Board of National Museum opened at National Museum in Riyadh Saturday evening, the Exhibition 'From Washington to Riyadh for the late Artist Wahbi Al-Hariri Al-Rifai, organized by the Advisory Board in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Information and the Embassy of the United States of America, in the presence of the Wife of U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom Janet Breslin Smith and Cultural Attaché at the U.S. Embassy Katherine Schweitzer. Addressing the ceremony, the Princess said that the Exhibition embodies the cultural dimensions existing for years between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America. 'It is an opportunity for the renewal of cultural communication and the introduction of creative artists of Arab descent who live in the United States of America like Artist Wahbi Al-Hariri , who became famous as the last classical artist,' she added. (...) the Wife of U.S. Ambassador expressed her pleasure to participate in the celebration of the works of Arab-American Artist Wahbi Al-Hariri, noting that this is the first time that the Exhibition is held outside the United States of America since its inception in 1984 at Smithsonian Institution in Washington, which is the largest museum research complex in the world. At the end of the ceremony, Princess Adelah and the Ambassador's Wife Janet opened the Exhibition which contains over 50 paintings.
- Smith, James B. (24 November 2012). "Our cultural legacies: Building bridges, uniting people". Arab News. ISSN 0254-833X. LCCN sn83003486. OCLC 4574467. Archived from the original on 19 June 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
Last May, the “From Washington to Riyadh” cultural exhibition on Wahbi Al-Hariri, the late Arab-American artist, was hosted by the National Museum in Riyadh in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Information and the US Embassy in Riyadh.
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