National Museum Displays Distinctive Collections on Loan from Louvre Abu Dhabi
National Museum Displays Distinctive Collections on Loan from Louvre Abu Dhabi

National Museum Displays Distinctive Collections on Loan from Louvre Abu Dhabi

Muscat, 20 May (ONA) --- The National Museum is showcasing two distinctive objects on loan from the Louvre Abu Dhabi for one year, the objects are a “Bowl with a two-colour Inscription” adorned with the beauty of Arabic calligraphy and an iconic “Homage to the Square” reflecting contemporary abstract art.

This comes within the framework of the cultural collaboration between the National Museum and the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Showcasing the objects offers visitors an insightful exploration into Islamic art and modern abstraction and an immersing experience in the rich tapestry of art, culture, and history that binds the world together.

The “Bowl with a Two-colour Inscription” is displayed in the “Splendours of Islam” gallery dating back to Samanid dynasty (10th - 11th century) hails from Khorasan and Transoxiana, regions traversed by the ancient Silk Roads. Adorned with Arabic proverbs (amthal), it reflects the wisdom of the Imam Ali bin Abi Talib and the Islamic hadith. The contrasting black or brown slip decoration on a white slip base showcases the skill of an adept calligrapher, while the circular composition and the sobriety of the decorative and lexical vocabulary enhance the power of the inscription.

The art piece "Homage to the Square," is displayed in the "Oman and the World” gallery, by the painter Josef Albers, a master of colour relationships. He created this iconic piece in 1963. Josef Albers' "Homage to the Square" series, initiated in 1950 in the United States, encapsulates his exploration into colour theory and optical effects through simple yet profound compositions of nested squares. Utilising a distinctive technique of oil on masonite panels, these paintings—marked by their subtle textures and the illusion of spatial depth—serve as a pivotal study in color dynamics. Albers' approach, particularly through this series and his seminal book "Interaction of Colour," highlights his contribution to abstract art as a universal language, redefining art's relationship to reality amidst the challenges of the twentieth century.

It is worth noting that this loan embodies the close bilateral collaboration between the National Museum and the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which was established in 2017, when a collection of Omani artefacts was loaned to be displayed at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, introducing visitors to the civilisation of the Land of Frankincense and Oman's cultural role on the maritime Silk Road.

The two museums previously collaborated on the “Gardens of Paradise: The Language of Flowers in Iznic Ceramics” exhibition at the National Museum, which was inaugurated in December 2021. The objects presented the art of Iznik ceramics decorated with flowers and the special symbols it embodies related to evoking Qur’anic descriptions that recall the gardens of Paradise, showcasing pieces loaned from the Louvre Abu Dhabi, including 6 beautiful Iznik ceramics from the 16th century.

In reciprocation, the Louvre Abu Dhabi also received loans from the National Museum, including a beautifully crafted Omani dagger (Al Busaidi dynasty, 1800-1900), an intricately designed copper inkwell (1905) displayed in the Grand Vestibule, and a rare shell-shaped incense burner from the 12th – 14th centuries.

--- Ends/Anas