Showcasing rare artworks from the court of Louis XIV

Louvre Abu Dhabi is home to a world class collection of important art and storied objects of dazzling fascination, but with their specially-curated, limited-time exhibitions you can really get lost in a world that time has otherwise forgotten.

And the museum has just announced the subject of its first 2022 foray into international exhibitions, Versailles and the World — a collaboration with Musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, set to run from January 26 up to June 4, 2022. Admission to meander amongst the enchanting artefacts contained within the collection is included in the cost of your Louvre Abu Dhabi ticket (full price Dhs60), available from the website.

What’s On display?

Both the Palace of Versailles and one of its most famous occupants, Louis XIV ‘Sun King’ of France (the longest-reigning monarch in history) have a (perhaps unmatched) reputation for courting extravagant levels of peacocking opulence.

This exhibition is comprised of more than 100 artworks, loaned to Louvre Abu Dhabi from private collections and other museums. It was curated by Hélène Delalex, Heritage Curator and Bertrand Rondot, Chief Heritage Curator at the Department of Furniture and Decorative Arts at the Musée national des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon.

Separated in three distinct chapters: A Palace Open to the World: Visitors of Versailles; The Orient Revealed and the Orient as a Reverie: Exoticism in Versailles; and Between Heaven and Earth: Discovering the World, the aspirational intent behind the exhibition is to show Versailles’ position as a centre for cultural exploration and intellectual development in the 18th and 17th centuries. The Palace amassed a rich collection of curiosities from the intrepid journeying of French expeditions into the lands of the Ottoman Empire, Africa, America and Asia.

Visitors will get to experience inspirational paintings, tales of sea-fairing expeditions, sculptures, porcelain works, books and grand pieces of silverware and gilt bronze.

Co-curators Hélène Delalex and Bertrand Rondot said: “Curiosity was the driving force at Versailles in the 17th and 18th centuries. Countries beyond Europe were seen as places of wonder but also of scientific discovery. This fascination often expressed itself most eloquently in the fine and decorative arts where ideas and motifs were appropriated, not just from the Islamic and oriental worlds, but from other European nations such as England and Italy.”

Saadiyat Island, January 26 to June 4, 2022, Tue to Sun 10am to 6.30pm, Mon closed, Dhs60 (concessions available).

Images: Provided