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National Museum showcases art collection from Louvre Abu Dhabi

20 May 2024 National Museum showcases art collection from Louvre Abu Dhabi

Muscat – The National Museum, in partnership with the Louvre Abu Dhabi, is currently exhibiting two remarkable art pieces as part of a year-long cultural exchange.

The featured items are a ‘Bowl with a Two-colour Inscription’ from the 10th-11th century Samanid dynasty and Josef Albers’ ‘Homage to the Square’, a prime example of contemporary abstract art.

The ancient bowl, displayed in the Splendours of Islam gallery at the National Museum, originates from the regions of Khorasan and Transoxiana, known for their historical significance on the Silk Roads. It is adorned with Arabic proverbs attributed to Imam Ali and showcases the exquisite craftsmanship of Islamic calligraphers with its starkly contrasting slip decorations.

Meanwhile, ‘Homage to the Square’ finds its place in the Oman and the World gallery. Painted by Josef Albers in 1963, this artwork is a study in colour theory and optical effects, characterised by its minimalist yet impactful use of nested squares. 

Homage to the Square

This piece reflects Albers’ significant contributions to abstract art, particularly noted in his influential book Interaction of Colour.

This collaboration between the National Museum and the Louvre Abu Dhabi began in 2017 and has included several exchanges and exhibitions. 

Notably, the ‘Gardens of Paradise: The Language of Flowers in Iznik Ceramics’ showcased in December 2021 at the National Museum highlighted art pieces loaned from the Louvre Abu Dhabi, enhancing the cross-cultural dialogue between the two institutions.

In return, the Louvre Abu Dhabi has hosted a collection of Omani artefacts, such as an intricately designed copper inkwell from 1905 and a rare incense burner from the 12th-14th centuries, further cementing this partnership. This ongoing exchange not only enriches the cultural landscapes of both nations, but also fosters a deeper understanding of their artistic legacies.

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