Girard-Perregaux 1966 “The Abduction of Europa” Collection with Lebanese artist Hussein Madi

Swiss watch making house GIRARD-PERREGAUX, in association with  CHRONORA ,its partner in Lebanon, and Lebanese artist Hussein Madi presented this exclusive collection consisting two unique pieces from the Girard-Perregaux 1966 collection at the contemporary art fair in Beirut, MENASART FAIR (13th to 16th July, 2011).

Hussein Madi was born in 1938 in Chebaa – a Lebanese village. Drawing, painting, sculpture, engraving, graphics, illustration, ceramics, mosaics, caricature – Madi has always been keen to expand his artistic creativity. At 20, he enrolled in the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts and from 1963 continued his training in Italy, at the Fine Arts Academies of Rome and San Giacomo.  Civil war broke out in Lebanon in 1975 and Madi pursued his career in both Rome and Beirut, teaching art at the Fine Arts Institute of the University of Lebanon and the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts. He made Beirut his permanent home in 1986.

He has exhibited around the world – more than 50 exhibitions have been devoted to him – and his work can be found today in important public institutions such as the British Museum in London, as well as in private collections.

As an international artist his work moves between North and South. He draws inspiration from his native land but is always open to other cultures. Knowledge, for Madi, is the source of all freedom. His artistic style is all about shapes and colours, with echoes of his predecessors, Matisse and Picasso, as well as the principles of divine harmony that underpin the abstract designs of Islamic art.

Whether in two or three dimensions, his lines display a spontaneous freedom behind which can be sensed the precision that he brings to each of his works. Meticulousness and sensuality are the keystones of everything he creates, inspired by a deep belief in a divine universal order in which every single thing is different but composed of the same cosmic elements.

The Abduction of Europa and the Girard-Perregaux 1966 collection
In Greek mythology, Europa is the Princess of Tyre, a Phoenician city (in today’s Lebanon). The daughter of King Agenor and Telephassa, she gave her name to the European continent. According to legend, Europa, on a beach in Sidon, met Zeus – transformed into a white bull so that Europa could approach him without fear.

Attracted by the perfume of crocuses on its breath, Europa caressed his flank and then unwisely mounted the animal. It carried her off to the Island of Crete (or to the North of the Bosphorus in some versions) and there, under a plane tree which has remained forever green, Zeus regained his human form and seduced her. Their union gave birth to Minos, Rhadamanthus and Sarpedon.

Girard-Perregaux has chosen the classical elegance of its ‘1966’ collection to reproduce this work of Hussein Madi in miniature. The restraint of the original work underlines the meticulous marquetry and painting on mother-of-pearl carried out on the dials by its craftsmen. In the great tradition of the company that is celebrating its 220th anniversary in 2011, these two unique pieces both have a mechanical movement with automatic winding, manufactured in its own workshops.

1) Girard-Perregaux 1966, unique piece in white gold
Case
Case in white gold
Diameter: 40.00 mm
Height: 10.13 mm
Case-back: non-reflective sapphire
Water resistance: 30 metres

Movement
Girard-Perregaux GP03000-0060
Mechanical movement with automatic winding
Calibre: 11½’’’
Frequency: 28,800 vibrations/hour (4 Hz)
Jewels: 32
Power reserve: minimum of 46 hours
Functions: hours, minutes

Dial
Dial of marquetry and painting on mother-of-pearl, after “The abduction of Europa” by Hussein Madi.

Strap
Strap in black alligator
Pin buckle: white gold

2) Girard-Perregaux 1966, unique piece in pink gold

Case
Case in pink gold set with 68 diamonds (~1.50 ct)
Diameter: 40.00 mm
Height: 10.13 mm
Case-back: non-reflective sapphire
Water resistance: 30 metres

Movement
Girard-Perregaux GP03000-0060
Mechanical movement with automatic winding
Calibre: 11½’’’
Frequency: 28,800 vibrations/hour (4 Hz)
Jewels: 32
Power reserve: minimum of 46 hours
Functions: Hour, minute

Dial
Dial of marquetry and painting on mother-of-pearl, after “The abduction of Europa” by Hussein Madi.

Strap
Strap in white alligator
Pin buckle: pink gold

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