GLOSS Volume 1, Issue 5 - 2018 - Page 74

The first acquisition ever made for the museum is a 1922 Piet Mondrian painting, while the oldest is a Bactrian princess piece from Central Asia. Highlights from loaned works of art include Leonardo da Vinci’s La Belle Ferronnière, Vincent van Gogh’s self- portrait, a rare ivory saltcellar from the Benin Empire, the Globe by Vincenzo Coronelli, Jacques-Louis David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps, and Standing Woman II by Alberto Giacometti, to name just six. Visitors may wonder what sets this museum apart from others? Upon closer inspection one will notice that the artwork in the galleries is not arranged by origin but chronologically and thematically instead, placing pieces like the French Virgin and Child next to the Dancing Shiva statuette, juxtaposing works to illustrate similarities and dialogues between cultures, civilisations, and religion. The project then - estimated at a whopping $1.3b - is one which focuses on bridging the gap between Eastern and Western art, and armed with the expertise of 13 French museums and institutions steered by the Agence France-Muséums, the  Louvre  Abu  Dhabi  will indeed offer visitors a unique experience including a brand new journey through major works of art from different civilisations, mirrored to reveal our common humanity. “With a unique global narrative and a vision to explore the history of art in a fresh context, Louvre Abu Dhabi is a place where visitors can come to understand their own and others’ cultures. Its ground- breaking architecture complements a presentation of exceptional treasures that represent a snapshot of humanity’s creativity, and paves the way for new discussions,” said Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi. The 23 galleries are subdivided into 12 chapters and begin in the Grand Vestibule where visitors are introduced to important themes such as maternity and funerary rituals.