Born in Damascus, Syria in 1875, Tawfik Tarek moved to Paris in his 20's and studied there for several years. Tarek explored several subjects throughout his educational journey such as architecture, painting (specifically topography painting) as well as mathematics and engineering. Tarek’s oil on canvas works formally reflect his academic background, while the subject matter demonstrates his innate connection to the Middle East. Tarek’s photorealist portraits, landscapes, and historical subjects effortlessly juxtapose Orientalist figurative details with Western formal elements, resulting in a timeless and universal aesthetic.
Upon returning to Syria, Tarek became a member of the Arab Scientific Academy in Damascus and was entrusted with great responsibility concerning cultural monuments, including restoring the mosaics in the Umayyad Mosque, and designing the Ministry of Knowledge. Tarek’s works are housed in prestigious public and private collections, including the Presidential Palace.