The story behind the painting…
When the first European explorers came to Damascus they were amazed by the city’s beauty. After crossing through a barren desert they suddenly encountered a land flush with vegetation, rich and green surrounding the famous Barada river.
The Barada river has long since dried up, but the foliage continues to sprawl across Damascus, indeed the capital is also known as ‘the city of Jasmine’ and the heavy aroma fills the air year round.
This painting is a tribute to the oasis that once was and still is. To create this painting Yasmin Hayat researched hundreds of centuries-old miniature paintings from the region, carefully studying the plants depicted within each, and reconfiguring them into this new composition.
An ancient civilisation, Damascus is rumoured to be built upon on a foundation of treasures, layers of soil formed from thousands upon thousands of years of civilisations and their now forgotten valuables. Often when laying new roads or train tracks, projects are rumoured to stop due to finding more artefacts too precious to destroy. Yasmin Hayat chose semi-precious stones such as Malachite and Lapis Lazuli and ground them in order to create the richly pigmented and reflective green and blue colours seen within this painting, she wanted a jewel-like richness to her painting, which she believed to be suitable when paying tribute to this land rich in history and flush with the aroma of plants.
This painting is now part of a private collection but prints are still available to buy. To get your print please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
‘'We shall remember ...... Damascus, the "Pearl of the East", the pride of Syria, the fabled garden of Eden, the home of princes and genii of the Arabian Nights, the oldest metropolis on Earth, the one city in all the world that has kept its name and held its place and looked serenely on while the Kingdoms and Empires of four thousand years have risen to life, enjoyed their little season of pride and pomp, and then vanished and been forgotten”
― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad