Farid Mansour - Sculptor & Painter
1929 - 2010
“In 1977 (the beginnings of the Lebanese civil war) I decided to return to Beirut leaving behind me all my successes I started to harvest in London including British citizenship. I decided to return hoping that through my art and my plume I can participate in shaping an evolved society within a country where justice and equality rule. I decided to return now lest I would be shocked should I return later on, to find a country strange to me, a country that does not resemble me and a society with no intellectual and artistic culture, a country driven solely by materialistic motives and primitive instincts”
Born In 1929 in Beirut, Farid Mansour enrolled in the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA) in 1946, and was also mentored by the Italian artist Fernando Manetti between 1946 and 1949.
Seeking financial stability, Mansour migrated to Liberia for several years. He returned to his homeland in the mid 1950's to pursue his artistic career.
In 1961, Mansour invited and encouraged by Manetti himslef, traveled to Italy specifically to Manetti's town of San Gimignano, where he continued his studies until 1963, after which he returned to Lebanon again. In 1969, he traveled to London and enrolled in the City and Guilds of London Arts School, acquiring additional skills in sculpting and painting. During his stay in London and as a result of his outstanding skills he had private tuition and was assigned his own working space in the Pharaonic and in the Greco-Roman department of the British Museum between the years 1974 and 1976.Towards the end of 1976 he worked as a sculptor in Madame Tussauds where he participated in the making of several statues.
In 1977, he was offered British citizenship, however he decided not to continue with the procedures out of fear that the erupted war in his homeland will lead to severe political and geographical disrupt, and that when he returns back at a later date he would find his country not the country he once knew, the land not his land and the democracy no longer the same . He returned once again to his homeland to take part, in his own way, in the drastic sociopolitical changes taking place.
He never again left Beirut, enduring the various phases of the Lebanese war, including the bombing and shelling. His artworks during and after the Lebanese war were greatly influenced by the tragic events, humanitarian issues and dilemmas resulting from armed conflicts. Since then many of his artworks embodied the need for change towards a better future, freedom and equality.
Mansour taught arts and painting at the Lebanese University and participated in various cultural events and exhibitions. He died in Beirut in 2010 at the age of 81, leaving behind an artistic heritage ranging between various painting schools from Classical to Modern to Abstract. He also left behind many sculptures of varying topics and techniques.
Farid Mansour appears in the Benezit Dictionary of Artists - Oxford Art Online, and in October 2018 a documentary about Mansour was broadcast in the series 5 De Pic - Farid Mansour on Tele Liban, the Lebanese Official TV Station
In addition to being an artist, Farid Mansour was also a caricaturist, a poet, a critic and a writer publishing in several Lebanese and Arab journals such as Alsafir, Alanwar, Alnidaa’, Alanbaa’, Alshiraa’, Alarabi, Alazmina Alarabiya, Alkhalijiya.