Beginning 2022 in the spirit of artistic exploration and intercultural connectivity, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is pleased to announce that H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, has inaugurated the museum’s first international exhibition of the year, Versailles & the World. The exhibition opens to the public on 26 January and will run until 4 June 2022.
Organised by the Louvre Abu Dhabi, in partnership with the Musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon and the support of France Muséums, the exhibition highlights the eclectic history of the royal court at Versailles. Visitors will be invited to view more than 100 artworks from the collections of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the UK’s Royal Collection Trust, and 17 French lenders including the Musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, alongside a wide-ranging cultural programme of activities.
By focusing on the reception, interpretation, and assimilation of foreign cultures by the court, the exhibition will explore how the Palace of Versailles became a place for cultural exchanges between the French monarchy and court, and foreign ambassadors and diplomatic missions during the reign of three French monarchs, Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI. The exhibition will showcase how Versailles was a crucible for intellectual encounter and cultural expression, and a place of international collaboration and artistic production that looked to the rest of the world for inspiration, while illustrating the finest French taste, craftsmanship and art de vivre.
Versailles & the World is curated by Hélène Delalex, Heritage Curator and Bertrand Rondot, Chief Heritage Curator at the Department of Furniture and Decorative arts at the Musée national des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, with the support of Dr. Souraya Noujaim, Louvre Abu Dhabi’s Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management Director.
H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said: “I am delighted to be inaugurating the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s first international exhibition of the year, which provides unique insights into Versailles and its powerful impact on the world in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Louvre Abu Dhabi and its esteemed partner museums have developed a strong reputation for displaying insightful and thought-provoking exhibitions that reinforce cultural interactions and exchanges.”
Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said: “We are pleased to host the first international exhibition of 2022, Versailles & the World. The exhibition allows visitors to explore the complex network of political diplomacy, international commerce, intellectual encounter, and artistic creativity that helped grow French influence across the world and speaks to the ambitions of the modern age. The exhibition is a deep exploration and celebration of the human endeavor for partnerships, collaboration and creation, which underlines the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s role as a convener of people of all backgrounds and a platform that helps realise the artistic, intellectual and global ambitions of the people in this region.”
Co-curators Hélène Delalex, and Bertrand Rondot at the Musée national des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, said: “We are delighted to see this exhibition come to fruition. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Versailles was spurred on by curiosity for the world beyond Europe. As this spirit of search, exploration and curiosity continues, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is the ideal place to showcase this exhibition considering the UAE’s growing influence on the global stageThis captivation that Versailles once had was commonly expressed in the fine and decorative arts where ideas and motifs were appropriated, not just from Islamic and East Asian worlds, but from other European nations such as England and Italy.”
Dr. Souraya Noujaim, Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management Director at Louvre Abu Dhabi, said: “In this exhibition, Louvre Abu Dhabi invites visitors to discover the court at Versailles and its vistas onto the wider world. Designed for all types of visitors, this exhibition explores the inspiration of foreign lands behind the arts and the French court’s fascination with distant countries, as well as its ambivalent relations with them.”
For more information about the exhibition and to book tickets, please visit louvreabudhabi.ae or call Louvre Abu Dhabi at +971600565566. Entrance to the exhibition is free with general museum admission tickets. Admission to the museum is free for children under the age of 18.