While we may not be able to travel to Paris this winter, art masterpieces of the Musée d’Orsay and the Bibliothèque nationale de France – both lending museums from the France Muséums network – have arrived at Louvre Abu Dhabi
The Bellelli Family. Edgar Degas (Paris, 1834 – 1917). France. Between 1858 – 1869. Oil on canvas. Musée d’Orsay. © RMN - Grand Palais - Adrien Didierjean
Joining these loans will be Charing Cross Bridge by Claude Monet, on loan from a UAE private collection. Newly unveiled acquisitions and loans, many on view for the first time in the region, offer new experiences to attract both first-time and returning visitors to the museum.
From 28th century BCE Mesopotamia to the height of Impressionism, new stories of cultural connections can be found at every turn throughout Louvre Abu Dhabi’s ‘museum city’, a modern marvel designed like an Arabian Medina by globally renowned architect Jean Nouvel.
In the Norwegian. Claude Monet (Paris, 1840 – Giverny, 1926). France. About 1887. Oil on canvas. Musée d’Orsay. © Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi
"The artworks, the stories of the artists, and the journey that each loan and acquisition has taken represent the rich diversity of geographies, cultures and histories that ultimately brought each to Louvre Abu Dhabi," says HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi. "Fostering opportunities for cross-cultural understanding is more important than ever."
Some of Louvre Abu Dhabi's new acquisitions include Female figure praying (Iraq, 2800- 2550 BCE); Kneeling figure (Ancient Egypt, 400 – 300 BCE); Standing Jina figure (Tamil Nadu, India, 1000 – 1100) and Feline-shaped Incense Burner (Eastern Iran or Central Asia, 1000 – 1100). Each adds to the theme of varied religious beliefs and rituals across time and place.
Rawzat al-safa. Timur and his companions determine the fate of Amir Husayn Mir Khwand (Bukhara, 1433 – Balkh, 1498)
Iran, 1601 – 1604. Ink and colour on paper, gold highlights. Bibliothèque nationale de France © Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi
“A museum should always first be for its neighbourhood, aspiring to be a critical part of the cultural life of its community,” says Dr. Souraya Noujaim, Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management Director at Louvre Abu Dhabi. “Through the new works on display, we give returning visitors to Louvre Abu Dhabi an opportunity to re-engage with pieces in our permanent collection, to see them anew through stories of cultural connections."
The loans from the Musée d’Orsay include some of the most iconic paintings from the Modern-Impressionist period, as well as photographs from the 19th century, which was marked by societal changes as well as technical advancements. Through these new loans by the Musée d’Orsay, viewers will be able to follow the many ways in which the Industrial Revolution transformed the world forever, as captured in the paintings by Monet, Van Gogh, and their contemporaries.
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Images courtesy of Louvre Abu Dhabi and Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi