Initially a self-taught painter, Fateh Moudarres lived and studied predominantly in Syria, with the exception of a few influential years at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome in the late 1950s and the École des Beaux Arts in Paris in the 1970s. After his studies, he returned to Syria, where he taught at the University of Damascus.
Two Children Astride a Goat (1960) is a work painted just after Moudarres’ studies were completed at the Accademia di Belle Arti, where he became interested in surrealism and began to develop a unique style. It was during this period that he also stopped focusing on religious figures in his work and started to depict everyday occurrences and ordinary people in Syria. In Two Children Astride a Goat, oil paint is layered thickly on the canvas in earthy greens, reds and yellows to portray two children riding on a goat in a country landscape. The warm colours used for the children contrast sharply with an almost bleak hue of grey in the foreground, which enables the figures to stand out. The subversion of colours shows the impact of surrealist painting on Moudarres’ artistic practice, and the sketch-like quality of the figures displays his admiration and fascination for artwork from ancient civilisations.