Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 July 2019

Louvre Abu Dhabi announces 51 new arrivals including works from Matisse, Monet and Van Gogh

The items – 11 new acquisitions and 40 loans – will be on display from the end of October

The Ballroom at Arles, Vincent van Gogh, France, 1888
The Ballroom at Arles, Vincent van Gogh, France, 1888

Louvre Abu Dhabi has announced nearly a dozen exciting new acquisitions, which will be unveiled at the end of this month.

Among the recently purchased items to be displayed in Louvre Abu Dhabi’s permanent collection are a 175cm Buddhist sculpture from China (11th-12th centuries) representing Guanyin, a divinity of compassion; four French tapestries (1655-74) depicting hunting scenes taken from an original drawing by Bernard van Orley; a rare conical helmet from Mongolia or China (13th-14th centuries), part of a medieval suit of armour; and a ceremonial knife from India (c 1600), made of rock crystal and decorated extensively with jewels.

However, some works will be leaving Louvre Abu Dhabi. Loans previously secured will now be returning to their parent museums, including van Gogh's Self-Portrait (1853-1890), Paul Cezanne's Aix en Provence (c 1895) and Matisse's Nature morte au magnolia (1941).

Four of the latest acquisitions come from the region, including a Mamluk carpet from Egypt (late 15th century) and a piece of Ottoman horse armour (15th-16th centuries), one of only 20 Ottoman horse armours yet discovered.

Guanyin, Bodhisattva of Compassion, China, Shanxi province, 1050-1150
Guanyin, Bodhisattva of Compassion, China, Shanxi province, 1050-1150

“Building a collection is a gradual and rigorous process through the selection of marvellous pieces, and we hope visitors delight in discovering and learning about these new ones as much as we do,” said Louvre Abu Dhabi director Manuel Rabate.

Added to this, Louvre Abu Dhabi has secured 40 loans from regional cultural institutions and French partner museums. The most exciting of these are Claude Monet’s Madame Louis Joachim Gaudibert (1868), Vincent van Gogh’s The Ballroom at Arles (1888), Man Ray’s Suicide (1926) and Henri Matisse’s Reader on black background (1939).


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Musee du Louvre’s Jean-Luc Martinez added: “Just one year after its opening, Louvre Abu Dhabi has joined the circle of the leading international museums. Its success is based on three pillars: its spectacular architecture, the richness and innovation of its narrative for its permanent collection and the high quality of its temporary exhibitions.

"New exceptional loans from the 13 French museums and institutions in the framework of the intergovernmental agreement between our countries will renew the visitor experience in the permanent galleries.”

Not forgetting the art lovers of tomorrow, Louvre Abu Dhabi has secured two new loans for its Children’s Museum. A mummified cat and a Greek pot in the shape of a duck (4th-1st centuries BC) are two of the highlights of a new exhibition, Animals: Between Real and Imaginary, which is on until July 2019 and explores the representation of animals in art through history.

Ceremonial dagger with parrot-shaped hilt, India, c.1600
Ceremonial dagger with parrot-shaped hilt, India, c.1600

All these items will be unveiled as part of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s first anniversary celebrations. “Louvre Abu Dhabi is Abu Dhabi’s gift to the world and a story of long-standing friendship and collaboration with France,” said Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism.

“The galleries’ update will not only invite visitors to discover new acquisitions from the museum’s growing collection, and new loans from our partners. It also illustrates our commitment to train and champion the next generation of Emirati museum professionals who have been working over the years and now take great care of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collection and galleries.”

The new acquisitions in Louvre Abu Dhabi’s permanent collection

  • A monumental 175cm Avalokiteshvara Buddhist sculpture from China (11-12th centuries) representing Guanyin, a divinity of compassion, made in the Buddhist classical form from the Song dynasty (960-1279)
  • Four tapestries depicting The Hunts of Maximilian from an original drawing by Bernard van Orley from France (1665-74) which are part of series of tapestries currently in Musée du Louvre’s collections, depicting the hunting parties of Archduke Maximilian, the Habsburg duke of Brabant, commissioned by the Habsburg court, the new acquisition represents the hunt in September
  • A Japanese Samurai armour (18th century) bearing the crests of the 4th Lord Nabeshima, feudal lord of Saga in Hizen, a masterpiece by famous armour maker Miyata Katsusada (1707-30)
  • A rare conical helmet from Mongolia or China (13th-14th centuries), part of a medieval suit of armour reflecting Ottoman turban helmets
  • A Phoenix-headed Ewer from the Tang Dynasty, China (8th century) in white earthenware with a three-coloured glaze
  • A rock crystal knife with a jewelled parrot from India (c 1600), a ceremonial knife that is as much a piece of jewellery as it is a weapon
  • A jeweled katar dagger from India (18th century) inlayed with 481 rubies and almost one hundred emeralds, a weapon worn at court as a symbol of wealth and power
  • A rare Albarello decorated with fleurs-de-lys from Syria or Egypt (14th-15th centuries), used for medicines or perfumes belonging to a group of Syrio-Egyptian ceramics of the Mamluk period influenced by Chinese Yuan dynasty (1268-1644) ceramics
  • A Three Medallion Mamluk Carpet from Egypt (late 15th century), named after the characteristic of the decoration of the piece, the carpet is an exceptional and rare example of court workshop in Cairo, made in the style of the typical Moorish decoration seen in stucco or woodcarving at that time
  • A rare Ottoman horse armour (15th-16th centuries) bearing the Saint Irene mark of the imperial ottoman arsenal in Istanbul, one of less than twenty known Ottoman horse armours to date
  • A Mamluk Bowl from Egypt or Syria (late 13th or early 14th century), an example of early metalwork that flourished under the Mamluks, at a time where the inlaying tradition, one of the jewels of the arts of Islam, was developed, commissioned by Ahmad ibn Al Jundi Al Tarrab, a high ranking mamluk officer under the sultanate of Al Malik Al Nasir Muhammad ibn Qala’un (1299-1340)

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Updated: October 24, 2018 10:41 AM