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The Arts of Islam: Treasures from the Nasser D. Khalili Collection

Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France
6 October 2009 - 14 March 2010

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…



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