Born in Aleppo, Syria in 1950, Saad Yagan is a leading contemporary Syrian painter. He is regarded as a key member in the development of contemporary Syrian Art and is one of the most significant modern-expressionist painters in the Middle-East. Yagan began painting at the age of thirteen. He studied painting at the Plastic Arts Center of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Aleppo and graduated in 1964. He held his first solo exhibition at the city’s National Museum five years later. Yagan is widely known for chronicling the modern day experiences of Aleppo residents and their instinctive attachment to the centuries-old city. Yagan’s atmospheric paintings have followed two distinct tracts, and can be divided between scenes derived from ancient mythology and literature such as his Gilgamesh and Arabian Nights series, and compositions exploring the morose café culture that hosts Syria’s recluses, alienated philosophers, and an assortment of other downtrodden clientele. Yagan’s narrative threads feature stylized figures whose elongated faces appear worn by time, adopting the lines and brushwork of their settings. Yet their muscular bodies, which appear to be patterned after the perception of hallowed bodies found in religious icons, are rendered with an aestheticized elegance.