Louvre Abu Dhabi marks 5 years with new da Vinci masterpiece, John Legend performance

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The world-renowned Parisian museum Louvre’s Abu Dhabi division will mark its fifth anniversary this month with performances from music greats like John Legend and unique art displays including the Saint John the Baptist by Leonardo da Vinci.

In the five years since its inception, the museum has become an institution of regional importance which has assisted in the growth of Abu Dhabi’s cultural tourism – both local and international.

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“This anniversary season for Louvre Abu Dhabi is gearing up to be our most exciting one yet. Creating memorable experiences for the community has always been integral to what we do...” Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi said in a statement.

Designed by the world-renowned Jean Nouvel, the Abu Dhabi museum has seen “more than 3.2 million visitors, partnered with over 30 regional, French and international museums and institutions, organized 16 exhibitions in partnership with French and regional museums and opened the region’s first-of-its-kind research laboratory,” the establishment shared in a statement.

Its permanent collection is supplemented by rotating loans from 13 French partner institutions, regional and international museums.

What to expect

The events marking the five-year milestone will run for over a month, and will include workshops, curatorial talks, and musical performances from John Legend on November 12 and Omar Khairat on November 13.

A new range of acquisitions and loans from around the world will adorn its galleries, including Leonardo da Vinci’s renowned masterpiece, Saint John the Baptist, the first in a series of four loans from its French counterpart.

Loans from other partner museums include an Ivory Comb dating to 2300 BCE from the Sharjah Archaeological Museum, a copy of The Travels of Marco Polo dating to the second half of the 14th century from the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and the painting Woman in Blue by Pablo Picasso, from the Centre national d'art et de culture Georges-Pompidou.

Recently acquired works towards the Abu Dhabi institution’s permanent collection include the painting Thurifer Angel in a Yellow Tunic (c. 1520) by Bernhard Strigel, The Cup of Chocolate (1877 – 1878) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and a Chinese Ritual Tripod Food Vessel from the late Shang Dynasty (12th – 11th century BCE).

Contemporary works will include 11 mirrors from Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto’s series Mirror Paintings until February 2023.

The museum has also reportedly invited artist Jenny Holzer to present a new sequence of her iconic light projections on and from the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s architecture. “Holzer will revisit the theme of creation in the form of large-scale light projections featuring extraordinary words by poets, artists and others she admires, from the region and beyond,” said the press statement.

One of two major exhibitions that have been planned is a display of Impressionist artworks titled ‘Impressionism: Pathways to Modernity’ which will run through until February 2023.

It is reported to be the region’s “largest-ever showcase of Impressionist artworks,” and is being organized in partnerships with Musée d’Orsay and France Muséums.

Earlier in October, Al Arabiya English explored the Abu Dhabi institution’s major exhibition on impressionist artwork from Monet and Manet to Cezanne and Renoir.

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