Emile Ayache


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Set in Stone

Born in Aley in 1944, Emile Ayache is one of Lebanon’s foremost sculptors.

As a young child, he witnessed stone carvers creating statues and columns for buildings, and and was very much taken by this unique form of art.

He was further encouraged by his uncle’s workmanship in carving stone, and also by his father – Sabh Ayache – who was highly accomplished in the art of Arabic calligraphy.

As Emile Ayache grew up, his passion for the arts grew with him, and he chose to specialise in the art of sculpture.

“I was born in Aley, I studied in Souk el Gharb where I achieved my baccalaureate, and then began studying art at ALBA (Académie Libanaise Des Beaux-Arts).”

At first, he met with resistance from his father and family, as art is not always a profitable pursuit.

From Aley to Rome

His talent was recognised, and he was awarded a scholarship to study in Florence, Italy, for three months.

In 1968, Emile Ayache graduated from Academia Di Belle Arti Di Roma (Academy Of Fine Arts in Rome).

In Rome, he studied cinemagraphics, and became a specialist in interior design for cinema and TV in London.

In Rome, he worked as an assistant movie director, and also taught sculpture.

From Rome, he returned to Lebanon, and in 1983 went to Saudi Arabia.

In 1985, Emile Ayache settled in America – Bethlehem, Pennyslvania – where he was commissioned to create many public sculptures.

He works primarily on classical forms in different sizes and materials, mainly carving on marble and bronze.

He has exhibited his works in many international Symposiums.

In 1989, he carved the visage of Khalil Gibran, entering this sculpture in an international competition.

Emile Ayache has sculpted the figures of many famous faces from around the world – including former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.

Tribute to Moussa

In the 1990s, he returned from Bethlehem in America to Khallat in Lebanon, where he now resides.

His sculptures of Lebanese figures include politician Rene Mouawad, poet Said Akl, Khalil Habib Sayegh (the founder of the Librairie du Liban and a pivotal figure in the world of books and education in the Arab world), and former Presidents Camille Chamoun and Michel Suleiman.

In July 2018, the municipality of Batroun unveiled Emile Ayache’s sculpture of the famous zajal poet Hanna Moussa. The statue was made from bronze, taking four months to complete.

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Emir Majid in Bronze

Among his most famous achievements is the statue of Mir Majid Arslan, hero of  Lebanese independence.

The statue was unveiled in Choueifat in 2018, to commemorate 75 years of independence. The bronze statue weighs 1250 and reaches 4.5 metres.
The work as a whole was designed and implemented in Lebanon.

"The civilisation of people is known by their art. If there is no art, there is no civilisation."

Emile Ayache – Sculptor

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Karim Abou Chakra

Emile Ayache’s most recent creation is a bust of Karim Abou Chakra, the famous Lebanese actor born in Kfar Ammay, district of Aley.

saint rita of cascia statue by emile ayache

Saint Rita of Cascia

Emil Ayache continues to be active in the practice of his art, both locally and internatinally.

Life-size in bronze, this statue of Saint Rita of Cascia, Patron Saint of the Impossible, was shipped from Beirut to Toronto in September 2019.
The statue of Saint Rita will be placed next to the statue of Saint Charbel, which was sent to Toronto by Emil Ayache in June 2017.
Both statues will reside at the main entrance of Monastere Saint Antoine, Le Grand 1520 Avenue, Ducharme, Outremont.
The official inauguration ceremony for the statues will occur when concerns for Covid-19 have ended.

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