Matisse’s ‘Still life with a Magnolia’ (1942), and its apparent Simplified drawing is nothing of the sorts. Rather, the painting, that took more than 12 years to complete, is not only a revolutionary way to represent life, it is also representative of Matisse’s underlying idea that colour possesses great healing powers and that art has the strength to communicate to the soul of man in mysterious ways. A man that believed in the greatness of beauty despite all the tragedies he lived through, he infamously, and very correctly, claimed: ” There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”…. just one of the many significances embodied in this little masterpiece.
One the things that I profoundly adored in this new museum was the underlying idea which sustains it. It aims to be an analysis of human universality, showcasing in each room, specific stages of human development in history. What is beautiful about it is that it doesn’t segregate by cultures or traditions, but instead has joined together the whole world in one single room: combining for example the portrayal of motherhood, side by side, in China, Egypt and Europe.
I will be posting specific analysis of each area and some of its main masterpieces, but for the meantime, here are some pictures of the overall exhibition spaces.
One of my favorite pieces at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, are of course, the stunning Rodin’s borrowed from the Rodin Museum in Paris. So characteristic of his work, these four sculptures, very small in size, apart from one of them, are profoundly beautiful and moving. Filled with the emotional depth that is only his, they seem to rather portray the human soul in its different stages of growth and expansion. So lovely….
“Ocean waves, self willed waves, whether at rest or play, how full you are of wondrous life! Laughing in the sun, tossing back the sky’s reflection, heaving, throwing breakers at the world, in your watery wild wilderness, I find your quiet whisper sweet, caressing, love-filled; your restless murmuring I hear, your prescient moans. In the wild element, gloomy or glad, in your quiet, blue night, guard the secret you have taken. Not a treasured ring-gift, did I drop into your swell. Not a precious stone, did I bury in your deeps. No, at a fateful moment, lured by mysterious delight, all my soul, my living soul, I buried on your bed. ” Ivan Aizazovsky
The mysteries and depths of Aivazovsky’s soul…. as wide and as encompassing as the vast ocean he so much loved and admired.
The passage of the Jews, Ivan Aivazovsky.
What we call “arabesque” is a type of design which combines an organic language, by creating intricate and interweaving rhythms Either by using plain lines, or abstract forms which resemble foliage. It is expressive of the language of nature and is profoundly used in the Islamic arts as a way to create a link between man and the divine – placing nature as the mediator.