Kamel, Youssef (1891–1971) By Radwan, Nadia
Youssef Kamel is an Egyptian painter renowned for his impressionist landscapes of the countryside and views of medieval Cairo. As one of the leading figures of the “Pioneers” group (al-ruwwād), he was among the first students to attend the newly founded School of Fine Arts in Cairo (1908), along with artists Mahmoud Moukhtar and Ragheb Ayad. He studied under the Italian painter Paolo Forcella and graduated in 1911. After working as a drawing teacher in secondary schools, Kamel received a scholarship in 1925 to pursue his studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. On his return to Egypt, in 1929, he was appointed professor at the School of Fine Arts in Cairo, eventually becoming the head of its Painting Department in 1937. Kamel also worked as a curator and directed the Museum of Egyptian Modern Art from 1948 to 1949. He was named director of the School of Fine Arts in Cairo between 1950 and 1953.