Born in Alexandria to an aristocratic, intellectual family, Seif studied oil painting with his brother Adham, first under Arturo Zanieri—who had also been the teacher of Mahmoud Saїd—then more significantly under Ottorino Bicchi’s tutelage. The Wanly brothers, together with their friends, the painter Ahmad Fahmi and the filmmaker Mohamed Bayoumi eventually opened their own studio in Alexandria in 1935. When sculptor Ahmad Osman (1907–1970) established the Faculty of Fine Arts in Alexandria in 1957, Seif was appointed professor at the painting department.

The Wanly brothers were very close in their life and work. They travelled regularly to Europe through the 1950s where they sketched and painted numerous scenes from the ballet, opera and theatre. Together, they introduced modern pictorial trends in Alexandria and were among the first to depict international subjects, breaking away from the folklorist style of their contemporaries.


  • Title: Untitled
  • Creator: Seif Wanly
  • Date Created: 1954
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Hesham Salama. Private Collection

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