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The Prophet comes to Sydney’s State Library for special exhibition

Over 50 extraordinary artworks by the revered Lebanese-American poet, artist and philosopher Kahlil Gibran will travel to Australia for the first time for a free exhibition to be launched at the State Library of NSW from 4 December.

Kahlil Gibran – The Prophet, The Artist, The Man will showcase original artworks by Gibran, including the 12 illustrations from The Prophet as well as writings selected from Gibran’s personal collection at the Gibran Museum in Bsharri, North Lebanon. According to Dr Tarek Chidiac, President of the Gibran Museum, this historic exhibition will give multicultural Australia greater insight into the life and work of the celebrated poet “who is known all over the world as the promoter of peace, love and freedom.”

A free exhibition on the artworks of Kahlil Gibran will launch at the State Library of NSW from December 4

The Prophet, Gibran’s most popular work, has not been out of print since it was first published in 1923.

“Gibran is a global figure, not just a Lebanese writer,” says leading Australian-Lebanese author and lecturer, Jonar Nader. “It will be an awe-inspiring experience for people to see Gibran’s paintings. Many of them are directly connected to the philosophical or poetic messages within his written works.”

The exhibition will feature artworks from Gibran’s teens right up to the year before his death in 1931, including L’Automne (1909) which was selected for the famous Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts for its Spring salon in the Grand Palais in 1910 – the crowning success of Gibran’s time as an art student in Paris.

Other exhibition highlights include:hand-written draft of Jesus, the Son of Man, Gibran’s second most popular book;Striking pencil portraits from Gibran’s Temple of Art series – portraits of famous artists and intellectuals of the day, including American painter Albert Ryder; and two postcards from his great love interest, acclaimed Arabic writer May Ziadeh –they communicated via letters and postcards but never met face-to-face.

Kahlil Gibran – The Prophet,The Artist, The Man is a free exhibition at the State Library of NSW from 4 December 2010 to 20 February 2011.