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29 November 2023

Louvre Abu Dhabi unveils new acquisitions, loans

By Wam

This month, Louvre Abu Dhabi will unveil 11 new acquisitions in its permanent galleries and 40 new loans throughout the year including ancient, modern and contemporary masterpieces from around the world. The new acquisitions will join the 657 artworks on display along the permanent collection of Louvre Abu Dhabi.

The new acquisitions in Louvre Abu Dhabi’s permanent collection include a monumental 175cm Avalokiteshvara Buddhist sculpture from China (11-12thC CE) representing Guanyin, a divinity of compassion, made in the Buddhist classical form from the Song dynasty (960-1279). Another item includes four tapestries depicting 'The Hunts of Maximilian' from an original drawing by Bernard van Orley from France (1665-1674) 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.

Other acquisitions include a Japanese Samurai armour (18th CE) bearing the crests of the 4th Lord Nabeshima, feudal lord of Saga in Hizen, a masterpiece by famous armour maker Miyata Katsusada (1707-1730); a rare conical helmet from Mongolia or China (13th -14th CE) part of a medieval suit of armour reflecting Ottoman turban helmets; a Phoenix-headed Ewer from the Tang Dynasty, China (8th CE) in white earthenware with a three-coloured glaze; a rock crystal knife with a jewelled parrot from India (ca. 1600), a ceremonial knife that is as much a piece of jewellery as it is a weapon; and a jeweled katar dagger from India (18th CE) inlayed with 481 rubies and almost one hundred emeralds, a weapon worn at court as a symbol of wealth and power.

Acquisitions representing the region include a rare Albarello decorated with fleurs-de-lys from Syria or Egypt (14th -15thC CE), 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 15thC CE), 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 (15-16thC CE) bearing the Saint Irene mark of the imperial ottoman arsenal in Istanbul, one of less than twenty known Ottoman horse armours to date; and a Mamluk Bowl from Egypt or Syria (late 13th or early 14th CE), 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).

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said, "Louvre Abu Dhabi is Abu Dhabi’s gift to the world and a story of long-standing friendship and collaboration with France. 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."

Manuel Rabaté, Director, Louvre Abu Dhabi said, "We are thrilled to unveil new artworks in our galleries this month. Louvre Abu Dhabi is proud to add 11 new monumental acquisitions to its collection. 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. Our French and regional partners are greatly contributing to our universal narrative with an impressive selection of new loans. A number of important artworks from our French and regional partners that have become renowned by visitors, will also remain on display for another year."

New masterpieces from Louvre Abu Dhabi’s regional cultural institutions and 13 French partner museums will join the 300 loans on display along the permanent collection of Louvre Abu Dhabi. A major rehang of the final permanent galleries will bring works from modern and contemporary masters including: Emile Bernard’s Woman smoking a tambac (1900), Vincent van Gogh’s The dance hall in Arles (1888) and Claude Monet’s Madame Louis Joachim Gaudibert (1868) from Musée d’Orsay; Francis Picabia’s Animal trainer (1923), Man Ray’s Suicide (1926) and Henri Matisse’s Reader on black background (1939) from Musée national d’art moderne – Centre Pompidou. New loans also include Joseph Aved’s Full length portrait of Mehmet Said Pasha, bey of Rumelia (1742) from Château de Versailles, and Dje(m) al-ed-din Mohammed ibn Mohammed el Hachimi el-Mecki’s Arab celestial globe (1573) from Mecca on loan from Bibliothèque nationale de France. Loans from regional institutions include Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Cabra (1981-82) from the collection of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s Children’s Museum will see two new loans from Musée du Louvre: An Egyptian Cat’s Mummy (Late Period) and an Askos in the Shape of a Duck (4th-1st century BCE). The loans are showcased as part of the Children’s Museum’s new exhibition Animals: Between Real and Imaginary until July 2019. The exhibition explores how animals have been represented throughout art history across many eras and regions.

Visitors are invited to explore the new loans and Louvre Abu Dhabi’s acquisitions starting the end of October 2018.

Dr. Souraya Noujaim, Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management Director, Louvre Abu Dhabi, said, "Louvre Abu Dhabi’s programme of new exhibitions and rotations of loans from our partners means we are able to enrich our permanent galleries regularly. At the same time, the museum’s curatorial team and acquisitions committee work closely to enhance our permanent collection with world-class additions that illuminate new aspects of our unique institutional perspective and universal narrative. This month, we welcome a new set of masterpieces to the museum, ensuring that first-time and repeat visitors alike will find something to fascinate and inspire them as we celebrate culture and creativity from all areas of the world."

Jean-Luc Martinez, President of the Scientific Council, Agence France Muséums and President-Director, Musée du Louvre, said, "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."