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Louvre Abu Dhabi - A blend of Architecture, art and culture

Kaweesa Abubakr 02/08/2024
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Louvre Abu Dhabi - A marvelous art museum by the Persian Gulf

Image: Courtesy of The Louvre Abu Dhabi

Born out of a unique cultural collaboration between France and the United Arab Emirates, the Louvre Abu Dhabi stands as a jewel on the island. The distinctive architecture and carefully curated collection of art on display have helped the museum welcome four million visitors since its opening in 2017.

Louvre Abu Dhabi - A marvelous art museum by the Persian Gulf

Image: Courtesy of The Louvre Abu Dhabi

Surrounded by water, the museum is home to some of the world's most culturally diverse collections transcending historical and national boundaries. With a significant portion of its collection featuring masterpieces on loan from France, the Louvre Abu Dhabi also presents a myriad of artworks from around the globe. This rich collection positions the museum as a focal point for education and tourism, facilitated by the extensive range of exhibitions and cultural events the museum hosts.

Architecture

Louvre Abu Dhabi - A marvelous art museum by the Persian Gulf

Image: Courtesy of The Louvre Abu Dhabi

The highlight of the building's design is its massive silver-colored dome. From afar, the dome appears to float above the museum, creating a captivating elusion. Weighing approximately 7,500 tons, the dome is inspired by the Arabian architectural concept of "cupola," incorporating a complex geometric pattern made up of 7,850 stars, repeated in different angles and sizes across eight layers. Perforations in the dome enable an interesting play with light, creating an effect termed the 'rain of light'. Beyond its magnificence, the dome's design helps reduce the building's energy consumption.

The Mission

The museum's goal is to celebrate connections by building cultural understanding through the display of creative works showcasing humanity's artistic prowess that transcends time, locations, and civilizations. It aims to draw attention to global history through art that would hopefully bring people together while celebrating the cultural diversity of the world's different regions.

Louvre Abu Dhabi - A marvelous art museum by the Persian Gulf

Image: Courtesy of The Louvre Abu Dhabi

Collections and Exhibits

1. Leonardo da Vinci's "La Belle Ferronnière" or the "Portrait of an Unknown Woman" (1490): The painting is notably distinguished for its vivid portrayal of class and status, highlighted by da Vinci's application of the sfumato technique, akin to that seen on the Mona Lisa.

Louvre Abu Dhabi - A marvelous art museum by the Persian Gulf

Image: Courtesy of The Louvre Abu Dhabi

2. Vincent Van Gogh's "Self-portrait" (1887): As the story goes, Vincent Van Gogh, a pivotal figure in European art history, once had an urge to practice painting people. However, financial constraints made it impossible for him to afford models, prompting him to turn his artistic focus to himself. This led to the creation of more than 25 self-portraits. Among these, his self-portrait from 1887 is particularly remarkable for its lively color palette and pioneering brushwork techniques.

3. Jacques-Louis David's Napoleon Crossing the Alps (1803): This iconic painting portrays Napoleon as both a heroic figure and a commanding leader presenting him with an aura of authority and invincibility.

4. Claude Monet's La gare Saint-Lazare (1877): This painting captures the early industrial revolution. Monet's mastery of manipulating light and color provides some insight into the impact that industrialization and modernity had on European Society.

Louvre Abu Dhabi - A marvelous art museum by the Persian Gulf

Image: Courtesy of The Louvre Abu Dhabi

5. 'Portrait of a Woman' by Pablo Picasso (1928): The portrait conveys complex human emotions through the use of geometric shapes. Referred to as cubism (an avant-garde art style), the portrait's technique dismantles the conventional form of portraiture, allowing for a more dynamic and engaging representation of the subject.

Exhibitions

The museum hosts exhibitions throughout the year. From age-old artifacts that tell the stories of civilizations long gone to contemporary works that display human advancement, the museum's exhibitions are a testament to its commitment to sharing experiences from all over the world.

Louvre Abu Dhabi - A marvelous art museum by the Persian Gulf

Image: Courtesy of The Louvre Abu Dhabi

The museum also has a section designed specifically for children. The section hosts interactive exhibitions that give kids an education on an array of topics.

Sustainability

In today's world, where the planet appears threatened from different fronts, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is playing its part in the sustainability effort. The dome's design produces a self-regulated microclimate, which reduces the museum's energy consumption by protecting the structures from the harsh desert heat. Facilitating the protection are features including solar shading, perforations in the dome that allow sunlight while preventing excessive heat, and stone wall and floor cladding to keep the building cool for an extended period.

Beyond the Art

Of course, you wouldn't want to leave a place like this empty-handed, so you should take advantage of the boutique where you'll find art books, accessories, and gifts that celebrate the art on display.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum is open from 10 am to midnight. The galleries and exhibitions close at 6.30 pm on weekdays and at 8.30 pm from Friday to Sunday.


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