All Collections
Back to Exhibitions

Heaven on Earth: Art From Islamic Lands – Selected objects from the Khalili Collection and The State Hermitage Museum

Hermitage Rooms, Somerset House, London, UK
March - August 2004

“The exhibition illustrates contrasting, but complementary, themes in Islamic art, and especially the arts of Islamic Iranian cultures, which might be characterised as, respectively, secular and religious. And it gives deliberately, a prominent place to the court arts of Islam in the 18th and 19th centuries, which have so often been regarded as a period of Westernisation and decline, but which assimilated and adapted foreign motifs and techniques no less successfully and with no less significance than in earlier centuries.

“As always, it has been a pleasure to work together, bringing the strengths of our two institutions to bear on this important exhibition.”

Professor M. B. Piotrovsky, Director, The State Hermitage Museum


“The pieces in gold, studded with emeralds and rubies – much of what is here is palace art – perfectly fit the descriptions of magical treasure in fairy-tales.

Peter Campbell, London Review of Books, 6 May 2004

“These sheets of Islamic holy writ are moving and beautiful objects. […] They survive translation to the foreign context of an art gallery surprisingly well.”

Andrew Graham-Dixon, The Sunday Telegraph, 4 April 2004

“The dreamlike flowing Kufic script (the calligraphic hand most commonly used by medieval transcribers of the Qur'an) that moves across empty space in the manuscripts at Somerset House sets you free from earthly concerns, slows you down, hypnotises. This is art - staggering art.”

Johnathan Jones, The Guardian, 13 April 2004

“Jewelled colours, sculpted gold, sinuous calligraphy, luxurious textiles: this exhibition of Islamic art across seven centuries and several continents is a sensuous feast.”

Jackie Wullschager, Financial Times, 22 May 2004

Selected Exhibits

Emerald-set Box

JLY 1857

Portrait Miniature of the Qajar Ruler, Fath ‘Ali Shah

JLY 1231


JLY 1974

Incense Burner or Pomander in the Form of a Lynx

MTW 1525

Share this page

Share this page