Joseph Matar

Painter and Poet


Born August 3rd, 1935, at Ghadir, Lebanon.
Nationality: French and Lebanese.
Schooled at the Marist Brethren, Jounieh.

Art Scholarships from governments:

Madrid , 1961-1962-1963

Paris , 1963

Rome , 1973

Paris , 1985

Practice in studios of acknowledged masters:

Omar Onsi's, 1951-1961

George Corm's, 1958-1961

Rachid Wehbe's, 1955-1957

Italian Cultural Centre, Beirut, 1955-1957

Ecole Supérieure des lettres, Beirut, 1955-1957

Beirut Faculty of medicine (Anatomy), 1958-1959


Diplomas of Higher Studies, Madrid University and San Fernando School of Fine Arts, 1961-1963.

Doctorate 3rd cycle, University of Paris. “ Plastic arts, pictorial technology and expression.”

Doctorat d' Etat 1999, Lebanese University.


Lebanese State instructor since 1954.

In charge of refresher courses for Lebanese art instructors in Beirut, Tripoli and Byblos state high schools, since 1965.

Instructor of Fine Arts at Holy Spirit University, Kaslik, since 1963.

Titular professor of the Lebanese University.

Chairman of the Drawing and Painting Department at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Lebanese University, 1980-1985 and 1994-1996; member of the Faculty Council.


More than sixty-five personal exhibitions in Lebanon and around the world.
1961 - Private show, JOUNIEH.
1964 - Carlton Hotel, BEIRUT.
1965 - Sacred Art Show, St. Joseph’s University, BEIRUT.
1966 - Sacred Art Show, Seminary of GHAZIR.
1967 - Town Hall, JOUNIEH.
1968 - Carlton Hotel, BEIRUT.
1970 - St. Joseph’s University, BEIRUT.
1971 - Town of AJALTOUN.
1972 - St. Joseph’s University, BEIRUT.
1973 - Carlton Hotel, BEIRUT.
1974 - Hispanic Cultural Center, BEIRUT.
1976 - August: at the Zahle Club, SAO PAOLO, BRAZIL.
1976 - July: at the Monte Libano, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL.
1976 - September: at the Belo Horizonte, BRAZIL.
1977 - Cultural Center, JOUNIEH.
1978 - Fish Grotto, JOUNIEH.
1979 - Casino du Liban.
1979 - Water-color Show at the A.T.C.L., JOUNIEH.
1980 - May: Higher Council for Culture and Science, KUWAIT.
1980 - May, June: Le Prisme Gallery, JAL EL DIB.
1980 - December: Saint Rafqa, JEL EL DIB.
1981 - April: Hispanic Cultural Center, BEIRUT.
1982 - May: Le Prisme Gallery, JAL EL DIB.
1983 - February: Hispanic Cultural Center, BEIRUT.
1984 - Le Prisme Gallery, JEL EL DIB.
1986 - Hispanic Cultural Center, BEIRUT.
1987 - Le Prisme Gallery, JAL EL DIB.1988.
1988 - Cultural Center, MIZIARA.
1989 - December: President’s Palace, BAABDA.
1990 - Brief activities in various Lebanese towns.
1991 - April: Drawings and studies, Le Prisme Gallery, JAL EL DIB.
1991 - September: Water-colors, KANO, NIGERIA.
1992 - February: Water-colors, IVORY COAST.
1993 - November: Foyer Franco-libanais, PARIS.
1995 - June: Le Prisme Gallery, JAL EL DIB.
1996 - February, Galerie Jade, rue des Trois Maries, LYON, FRANCE.
1996 - June: Matignon Gallery, SIN EL FIL.
1996 - April, May: Town Hall (Mairie), 8ème arrondissement, LYON, FRANCE.
1996 - October: Centre d’échange culturel ELAC, LYON. FRANCE.
1996 - October, November: Cité des artistes, MORESTEL, FRANCE.
1997 - March: Echos Gallery, JOUNIEH, LEBANON.
1997 - November: Galerie Jade, rue des Trois Maries, LYON, FRANCE.
1998 - May: Société Générale Libano-Européenne de Banque, SIN EL FIL.
1999 - January: Table d’hôte des caves de France.
1999 - May: Artisanat, JOUNIEH.
2000 - June: Artisanat libanais, JOUNIEH.
2001 - March: Villa Sursock, BEIRUT.
2001 - December: Town Hall, JOUNIEH.
2002 - October: ABU DHABI., U.A.E..
2002 - November: A.D.G. Gallery, BEIRUT.
2003 - December: Phoenicia Intercontinental Hotel, BEIRUT.
2004 - August: Musical evening, BEIT SHEBAB.
2004 - December: Surface libre Gallery, JAL EL DIB.
2005 - September: Al Ryad, SAUDI ARABIA, 27th September – 9th October , 2005.
2006 - June - Middle East University, Beirut Lebanon.
2006 - October - Surface libre Gallery, JAL EL DIB.
2007 - December - (Sepia) Lebanese Hospital Jhitawi, Beyrouth.
2008 - August, Art and craft center, Byblos Lebanon.
2009 - August, Art center in Mtein, Lebanon.
2010 - July, Safadi Fondation, Tripoli.
2010 - September, Cultural Center in Bikfaya
2010 - December, United Nations Palace in Geneva, Switzerland
2011 - Surface libre Gallery, JAL EL DIB
2012 - Ghazir Municipality
2013 - October, Unesco Beirut
2015 - Surface libre Gallery, JAL EL DIB - Surface libre Gallery, JAL EL DIB
2015 - University of Balamand
2016 - Equipe Exode

Works in private collections, public, religious and private corporations around the world: France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Germany, Vatican, United States,Canada, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Abu Dabi, Irak, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Emirats, Kuwait, Cyprus, Egypt...


Courses of artistic formation on Lebanese Television, for all students at universities and teachers’ training colleges.

Radio - BBC, Voice of America, Montecarlo, France and Kuwait Radio, Radio Liban... etc...

TV - Kuwaiti and Lebanese.


Publications by the artist concerning his work:

Several articles in the local and International press...

Several talks given in educational institutions in Lebanon and abroad...

Polycopied courses for secondary (senior high) school classes and the teachers’ training college.

Teachers’ book in Arabic for the Centre for pedagogic research and Development.

Mentioned in the book "Couleurs Libanaise" by Joseph Sokhn - Edition 1982.

Mentioned in the book "Cent Ans d'Art Plastique au Liban 1880-1980" - Edition 1982.

A book about the artist's work: Peintures du Liban –Joseph Matar - Tanit Edition -1996.

Member of "Art in Context Organization" - New York - 1997

Mentioned in the book "Pioneers from Lebanon" Ed. 2000.

The work of Joseph Matar was critiqued on April 11, 2000 by Joanna Bassil (Bachelor of Arts degree, University of Quebec - Montreal, Canada).- A question of culture and formation which finds its expression in the work of Joseph Matar.

His poetry has been mentioned in "Dreams and Fantasies" part of The Silence Within series by The International Library of Poetry.

The works of Joseph Matar appear in the book "Histoire de l'art du 20ème siècle, artiste peintre Joseph Matar", Tome III, Académie Michel Angelo des beaux arts, Beirut, by Alice Atwé under the supervision of Bernard Renno.

In July 2001, his poetry was recognized by an award for outstanding achievement from the international library of poetry.

Mentioned in the book "Ardalil - Lebanese Artists Guide, 2001", L'Ecrit du Phénix, Editions Orientalistes.

Mentioned in the book "Arab Artists Resource Guide", an exclusive directory of Arab cultural representatives - Edition 2003.

2003 - A water-color by the artist, 32 x 50 centimeters, was sold for $1000 at the National Apostolate of the Maronites, USA (9-13 July, 2003).

The work of Joseph Matar was critiqued on March 6, 2003 by Jean-Maximillien de la Croix De Lafayette (Music and Art Society of America, Inc., President Emeritus), Meet Joseph Matar: The Artist who spoke to nature and unveiled its divine beauty! And mentioned in the book 'United States and the World Face to Face'.

The work of Joseph Matar was critiqued on April 19, 2003 by Joan Lluís Montané from the International Association of Art Critics.

Mentioned in the Art magazine "Amman"; Number 100 - October 2003.

In November 2003, his work was recognized by an award for outstanding achievement from "Said Akl Awards".

Mentioned in the magazine "Cantos Cadre" Canada; Volume 2 - Fall 2003.

A masterpiece by the artist was featured on a greeting card (20.000 printed cards) to promote the commemoration of the Deir Yassin massacre of Palestinians in 1948 - Sunday, April 4th, 2004 at the Royal Geographical Society, Kensington Gore, London SW7

The work of Joseph Matar was critiqued on May, 2004 by David Nye, Joseph Matar: "Wealth of Artistic creativity and abundance of mesmerizing multidimensional colors - The Last Hurrah of the last great masters of the grand Orient".

The works of Joseph Matar appear in the Images of Eyes Gallery - United States, October 2004.

An article has been published about Joseph Matar in "New York arts Magazine", Vol 9 n' 11/12, 04, New York USA.

Mentioned in the "Dictionnaire Drouot Cotation 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 - Larousse Diffusion".

Mentioned in the book 'Christianisme Oriental Kérygme et Histoire" Geuthner, 2007.

Mentioned in the book 'Encyclopedia of the 21st Century: Biographies and Profiles of the First Decade', published by Times Square Press (New York), 2008.

Mentioned in the book 'Wild Mulberries' by Iman Humaydan Younes, published by InterLink Books, 2008.

Mentioned in the book 'Les nouveaux Gulliver' of Jean Marcoux, published by EditionsPourTous, 2008.

Mentioned in the Mags Byblos Art and Byblos Switzerland, published by Dr. Joseph Yammouni, 2008.

In October 2008, his work was recognized by an award from Mubadarat development in Beit Anya Harissa.

Mentioned in the book Ainsi parlait Jésus by Claude Guérillot, published by Edition Vega, 2009.

Joseph Matar in Wikipedia 2011

Mentioned in the book "La Vierge à l'Enfant au pays des cèdres" by Michèle Azzi, 2011.

Mentioned in the book "Byblos, land of God" by Raymond Yazbeck, 2013

Mentioned in the book "Le Livre et la Raison" by Claude Guérillot - Eléments pour une théologie du 3ème millénaire - Editions d'Antioche, Bruxelles

Mentioned in the book National Geographic Learning, a division of Cengage Learning - May 2013

Mentioned in the book 'L'Ane et l'Abeille, Gilles Lapouge', edition Albin Michel - February 2014

Mentioned in the article 'Computational Materials Science', Pr. Dr. Samir Matar - November 2014

Mentioned in the book Ecce Homo by Claude Guérillot, 2015

The Beatitudes artwork was reproduced in a publication for Edington Music Festival, Wiltshire, United Kingdom, August 2017 and the same work in Horizons magazine, the publication of Presbyterian Women.

For details about the CV, check


Whatever he is doing, Joseph Matar gives himself heart and soul. His eyes embrace all, but he sees in depths beyond what his eyes see, perceiving what only the Spirit can perceive!

This is what he is and this is his whole way of being: joyful at being present, overflowing with intense tenderness and vitality, smiling when he greets the rays of sunrise, in other words when embracing existence itself.

Beware when you approach him, for his thousand-sided flame sears and burns, awakens and gives pulsating life! His rhythm with the pen is in tune with his breathing that brings into play his heart and his eyes and his soul! Whether his arm is a cutting point, a lead pencil or ink, he opens before us a new world. Like the door of Ali Baba's treasure opening in obedience to a spoken word, he tells us on a virgin page the love story of a heart which loves without ever drying up!

With his pencil he expresses the bewitching capricious magic which shows him reaching to the stars or plucking a modest daisy. The line he follows is that of the will and of love. Over the fifty-five years during which he has been revealing himself, he has ever continued to learn, learning to break in, to domesticate, to humanise all that stands in his path. His desire has always been to pass beyond them all the better to affront whatever the future may bring. Alas! how many expressions there are without effect, without a soul able to reveal itself, how many prayers seeking to rise up without any religion, how much religion without prayer!

Yet is not the final purpose beyond pictorial art, prayer and religion to attain what is supremely sacred? It is something sacred to pass on a heritage, without more verbiage. The stars do not hide their faces, they do not hide their light! Being present, they send forth their rays and reveal their beauty, from which men of every condition have profited throughout the ages.

This bard of legends and allegories works far removed from words and from pointless chatter. He has his vocabulary, human and universal, with which he speaks to the great ones of the earth and to the little ones, all those who have eyes to see with and hearts to feel with. He always returns to the same story, his own story, the story of existence. This colourful saga must always remain unique, in a state of movement, the saga of changing the world! What a task, what an esthetic experiment. Here you are invited to the great feast, mystical and enchanting. In this movement from which you find yourself unable to separate yourself you will redouble your efforts, for "humanising God" is no light undertaking. More difficult yet is "divinising man"! Allegories of creators and created, swirling whirlpools of grace, of brilliance and of charm... in an eternal love, an eternal spring of metamorphosis and renewal.

Boutros Germani

Art Print reproduction on canvas

Featured Works

Oil on Canvas 73 x 54 cm - Thousand-year-old Olive tree
Oil on Canvas 73 x 101 cm - Ballerina
Oil on Canvas 61 x 46 cm - Neighborhood
Oil on Canvcas 130 x 89 cm - Stained Glass
Oil on Canvas 94 x 43 cm - Prayer
Oil on Canvas 55 x 73 cm - Pomegranate Still-life
Watercolor 48 x 33 cm - A Call to Prayer
Watercolor 36 x 50 cm - A Triple Arched
Study watercolor 22 x 16 cm - Emilie
Study 35 x 25 cm - Human Form