Daoud Corm

1852-1930

Daoud Corm, was an influential Lebanese painter and the father of writer, industrialist and philanthropist Charles Corm. He was a teacher and mentor to the young Khalil Gibran as well as Khalil Saleeby and Habib Srour.

In 1870 he went to Rome and enrolled at the Accademia di San Luca where he trained under Roberto Bompiani, the Italian court painter. During his five years in Italy, Daoud Corm studied the works of Renaissance artists whose influence was evident throughout his works. He gained official recognition when he was commissioned to paint a portrait of Pope Pius IX (reg 1846-78). Upon his return to Lebanon in 1875, he painted portraits of many Arabs including Abbas II of Egypt (reg 1892-1914) in 1894. Daoud Corm was a religious painter and there are many of his paintings in churches across Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Palestine.

In 1912, Corm expanded his artistic enterprise and its public appeal when he opened Maison d'Art, an art supply store and art studio centrally located near Beirut's post office. Its significant commercial success indicated a growing public interest not only in art viewing but also in art making. Corm exhibited his work abroad in Egypt and Europe, most notably at the 1889 Versailles Exhibition in France and at the 1900 Paris Exhibition, where he received the Prize of Honor of Excellence. Additional recognition of his career includes receipt of the Lebanese Order of Merit and the Ottoman Medal of Glory. In 1930, Daoud Corm died in Beirut at age 77.