6 October 2009 – 14 March 2010
Following its success in Abu Dhabi, the exhibition travelled to Paris, where it was shown at the Institut du monde arabe, whose aim in mounting the exhibition – according to the press release -was to promote the understanding and appreciation of Islamic art… The exhibition was curated by Aurélie Clémente-Ruiz and Eric Delpont, both of the Institut du monde arabe, and designed by the Paris architect, Didier Blin. Unlike Sydney and Abu Dhabi, the objects on display were not arranged chronologically, but were divided into three main themes.
Foi, sagesse et destinée (‘Faith, Wisdom and Destiny’) explored the relationship between art and the sacred through displays on the holy Qur’an; the two holy sanctuaries in Mecca and Medina; talismans; mosque and tomb furnishings; science and learning.
L’atelier des mécènes (‘Court Patronage’) was devoted to the portrayal of royal and princely splendours in the Islamic world: royal portraiture; the Universal History of Rashid al-Din; the Shahnamah of Shah Tahmasp; pomp and ceremony; and palace treasuries.
Un univers de formes et couleurs (‘ A Universe of Forms and Colours’) explored traditional and the innovative in Islamic art: the art of calligraphy – as an art form in its own right and as a decorative motif; pleasure of the senses; geometric and interlace motifs; nature transformed – arabesque, scrolls and floral decoration; menagerie: vessels in the shape of animals; figural representation; and finally, the meeting of East and West…