Corm, Georges Daoud (1896–1971) By Rogers, Sarah Ann
George Daoud Corm was a painter and francophone poet dedicated to Christian ethics and the classical tradition of European Humanism. He attended the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts (1919–1921) before returning to Lebanon. His paintings, predominantly oil on canvas and pastel on paper, document the importance of portraiture in Lebanon throughout the first half of the 20th century. His subjects range from commissioned portraits of society members and royalty to anonymous figures, including several of fellaheen, or peasants. A significant number of self-portraits also remain intact. Corm’s formal language represents a transition from the conventions of the previous generation of Lebanese artists, as evidenced in his use of a lighter palette and looser brushwork. Corm’s oeuvre also includes a substantial number of nudes, the hallmark of European academic conventions and this generation of Lebanese artists. In 1966, he published his most well-known written work, “Essai sur l’art et la civilization de ce temps,” in which he articulates an aesthetic position in the midst of a radically divided Cold War culture. Critical of both American consumerism and Marxist Communism, Corm advocates a return to a classical European tradition of Humanism, rooted in Christian ethics. Corm’s deep commitment to Humanism and Christianity is evident in his landscapes, which are infused with spirituality, other worldliness, and hidden symbolism.