As previously reported within the pages of Buro 24/7 Middle East, the Louvre Abu Dhabi announced earlier this year that it planned to open on December 2 with around 300 iconic artworks, which will be gifted albeit on loan from major French institutions. And now, we have a closer inspection of what to expect...

The works, which will be shown alongside the museum's permanent collection, include pieces by Henri Matisse, Claude Monet and Leonardo da Vinci, whose 'Portrait of an Unknown Woman' (circa 1495), also known as 'La Belle Ferronnière', is being loaned from the Musée du Louvre in Paris. 

LOUVRE ABU DHABI

 Portrait of an Unknown Woman (circa 1495), also known as 'La Belle Ferronnière' by Leonardo da Vinci


Edouard Manet's 'The Fife Player' (1866) and Claude Monet's 'The Saint-Lazare Station' (1877) will arrive courtesy of Musée d'Orsay et de l'Orangerie; a rare ivory salt cellar from the Benin Kingdom is arriving from from Musée du quai Branly and Henri Matisse's 'Still Life with Magnolia' (1941) will come from Centre Pompidou.

"These outstanding loans from our French partners represent the collaboration and exchange, symbolic of Louvre Abu Dhabi and its progress to date," said HE Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi).

"This will be the first time many of these works will travel to Abu Dhabi or even the Middle East, and are a rare opportunity to see important art from French museums in dialogue with the Louvre Abu Dhabi's collection. Ultimately, we hope to offer visitors a unique experience from a new perspective that underlines the universal spirit of the entire project."

The total selection of art works is being overseen by TCA Abu Dhabi, Agence France-Muséums (AFM) and all of the collaborating French museums.

"These outstanding loans from our French partners represent the collaboration and exchange, symbolic of Louvre Abu Dhabi and its progress to date"

Other participating French institutions include Musée du Louvre; Musée d'Orsay and de l'Orangerie; Centre Pompidou; Musée du quai Branly; Musée national des arts asiatiques Guimet; Château de Versailles; Musée Rodin; Bibliothèque nationale de France; Musée de Cluny – musée national du Moyen Âge; Cité de la Céramique Sèvres; Musée des Arts décoratifs; Musée d'archéologie nationale de St Germain en Laye and Château de Fontainebleau.

The number of works loaned by French institutions is due decrease over the course of the next decade as Louvre Abu Dhabi continues to develop its own collection, with the aforementioned works on show from three months to two years, depending largely on "the narrative, the conservation and the preservation requirements of each piece", according to a statement from the museum.