Tue, Jan 7, 2020

Art & Auctions
Art of Medieval chivalry on show

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s upcoming exhibition Furusiyya: The Art of Chivalry between East and West (February 19 – May 30) will display objects of medieval chivalric culture from the Islamic and Christian worlds.

The immersive presentation will encompass over 130 artefacts, from medieval armours, objects related to riding and battle, as well as illuminated manuscripts depicting chivalric scenes. Particular attention was paid to the values of the medieval knights. Courage, faith, loyalty or honour can thus be seen as the anchor of a common culture, present in both Islamic East and Christian West, said a statement.

Presented across three sections, artefacts on show originate from across the Middle East, including Iraq, Iran, Egypt and Syria, to the French and Germanic states in Europe, covering the period from the early 11th to the 16th century.

The show will allow visitors to discover similarities of knightly traditions in these different parts of the medieval world and spotlight the extraordinary cultural exchanges originating from key meeting points such as Southern Spain, Sicily and Syria.

In keeping with the theme of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s current cultural season Changing Societies, the exhibition highlights key artworks and artefacts across different times and cultures. The show aims to visualise how historic circumstances have contributed to their production or, in turn, how these works now act as a witness to historic changes in the cultures that produced them, the statement said.

Held in partnership with Musée de Cluny, musée national du Moyen Âge in Paris, and Agence France-Muséums, Furusiyya: The Art of Chivalry between East and West is curated by Chief Curator Dr Elisabeth Taburet-Delahaye, former Director of Musée de Cluny, musée national du Moyen Âge, alongside Co-Curators Dr Carine Juvin, Curator of the Department of Islamic Art at Musée du Louvre and Michel Huynh, Head Curator at Musée de Cluny, musée national du Moyen Âge.

Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, commented: “Furusiyya: The Art of Chivalry between East and West is the perfect exhibition to take place at Louvre Abu Dhabi. Our home city has always been a gateway between East and West and is a natural stage for this exploration of a key moment in Arab history and its cross-cultural exchanges with the Western World. The many international partners for the show – be it lenders or scientific experts – highlight the importance of this subject within the academic community and we are incredibly grateful to Musée de Cluny, musée national du Moyen Âge, and our partners from New York, Dublin, Paris and beyond, who came together to make this show a first-of-its-kind.”

The curators of the exhibition, Dr Elisabeth Taburet-Delahaye, Dr Carine Juvin, and Michel Huynh commented: “The art of elite horsemen, called furūsiyya in the East and chivalry in the West, was born around the 8th - 9th centuries, drawing from several common sources. The two cultures forged multiple links throughout the Middle Ages, many of which are still unknown today. Today, it is not only the objects related to battle, but also the values and ambitions, the substitutes and activities beyond the field of combat, the epics, novels and poems, combining stories of prowess and love, which are fascinating to compare. This show will not hide differences, but rather observe encounters between these two different cultures”.

Dr Souraya Noujaim, Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management Director at Louvre Abu Dhabi, added: “This is a unique and original exhibition, bringing together medieval chivalric cultures of East and West. It builds on Louvre Abu Dhabi’s seasonal programme of exhibitions, evoking important moments in the history of art and society and further develops the connection between the permanent galleries and our temporary exhibitions.”

Thanks to the generous loans of the Musée de Cluny, musée national du Moyen Âge and ten other prestigious international institutions, the exhibition offers an innovative synthesis between two worlds that had never been compared. Objects and images which have been carefully chosen are taking up the challenge to tell a secular story, which is not only one of the confrontations but also of encounters and shared cultures.”

Upon entering the exhibition, visitors will be presented with two monumental horse armours, Louvre Abu Dhabi’s spectacular Ottoman Horse Armour from the late 15th century, installed alongside a European Horse and Knight Armour from the first quarter of the 16th century, on loan from Musée de l'armée. Both aim to immerse the visitors into the key themes throughout this exhibition – knights and their horse as well as the art of battle and knightly culture. – TradeArabia News Service

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