'From Kalila wa Dimna to La Fontaine: Travelling through Fables' now open to the public

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Monday, June 24, 2024

'From Kalila wa Dimna to La Fontaine: Travelling through Fables' now open to the public
Installation view. © Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi / Photo Ismail Noor - Seeing Things.

ABU DHABI.- Louvre Abu Dhabi, one of the region’s leading cultural institutions, has announced the opening of its first exhibition of the year, ‘From Kalīla wa Dimna to La Fontaine: Travelling through Fables’, following its inauguration by H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, the museum’s Chairman. Held in partnership with Bibliothèque nationale de France and France Muséums along with the generous support of Van Cleef & Arpels, this groundbreaking exhibition showcases a remarkable collection of ancient tales and illustrated fables, promising to captivate visitors as they embark on a unique journey through time.

Curated by Annie Vernay-Nouri, Former Chief Curator, Oriental Manuscripts Department, Bibliothèque nationale de France, the exhibition draws inspiration from traditional illustrated fables and delves into the mystical world of animal tales embedded within historical manuscripts. With more than 132 artworks on display, the exhibition features an eclectic collection of rare manuscripts, paintings, contemporary works, and more — unveiling the timeless narratives of friendship, loyalty, cunning, and morality, as portrayed through anthropomorphic animal characters.

Fables are a genre of literature that typically consists of short stories featuring animals or inanimate objects that possess human-like qualities. These stories often convey moral lessons and teach readers about human behavior through the actions and interactions of the characters. Fables have been passed down through generations and are found in various cultures around the world. They serve as a means of entertainment as well as a way to impart wisdom and values to readers.

The exhibition traces the origins of this genre in India and Greece, following its evolution through the contributions of two key figures: Aesop in the Greco-Roman world and Ibn al- Muqaffa in the Arab-Islamic world. It highlights how the Arabic translation of Ibn Al-Muqaffa (c.720-756 CE) played a pivotal role in the translations that followed, such as the Persian and French versions that Jean de La Fontaine based his translations on. La Fontaine (1621-1695 CE) is widely recognised as one of the most prominent literary figures in French history and his unique works have left a lasting impact on French literature, celebrated to this day for their timeless charm and wit.

Manuel Rabaté, Director, Louvre Abu Dhabi, said: “At Louvre Abu Dhabi, we are not just presenting art; we are weaving narratives as a universal museum, leading by storytelling. Fables have transcended linguistic and cultural boundaries, inspiring new creations in both the East and the West, perfectly aligning with our mission—shedding light on the shared stories of humanity.”

He added: “Our partnership with Bibliothèque nationale de France and France Muséums as well as our collaborations with regional institutions have been invaluable and brought forth incredible loans. This exhibition also presented a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center, seamlessly enhancing the cultural richness of this fascinating narrative.”

Annie Vernay-Nouri, Former Chief Curator, Oriental Manuscripts Department, Bibliothèque nationale de France, said: “For the first time, visitors have a unique opportunity to witness and compare rare and precious artworks representing three distinct traditions of fables. The Eastern and Western traditions, rooted in a shared universal heritage, have evolved independently without direct contact, each charting its own course. It is only through the works of the eminent fabulist Jean de La Fontaine that these traditions have finally converged and united in a singular collection showcased at Louvre Abu Dhabi.”

Dr. Guilhem André, Acting Director for Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management, Louvre Abu Dhabi, said: "We are excited to bring this unique and thought- provoking exhibition to Louvre Abu Dhabi, showcasing the timeless power of fables from different cultures and eras. Through this exhibition, visitors will have the opportunity to explore the universal themes and lessons found in these stories and understand the significance they hold in shaping our world.”

The exhibition is divided into three main sections – Travelling Tales, Telling Stories, and The Fables Today – taking visitors on a voyage of texts over time through their various adaptations and translations. Several prominent pieces from France, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates will be showcased throughout.

Notable loans from Louvre Abu Dhabi’s partners include one of the oldest illustrated manuscripts of Kalīla wa Dimna, by Ibn al-Muqaffa dating back to the Ayyubid dynasty (1171- 1250 CE); The Two Adventurers and the Wondrous Writ by Jean-Baptiste Oudry, draughtsman Bonaventure Louis Prévost; Portrait of Jean de La Fontaine by Émile Bayard, draughtsman L. Wolff (engraver); and La Fontaine composant ses fables [La Fontaine writing his fables] by François Vayron, engraver.

As part of the museum's continuous efforts to offer its visitors compelling and engaging experiences, Louvre Abu Dhabi is utilising artificial intelligence for the first time within the mediation devices for this exhibition, allowing visitors to create their own fable via touch tables and download their composition by scanning a QR code. Visitors can customise their fables by selecting characters and the moral of the story, which they can keep and share with their children and loved ones.

To complement the exhibition, Louvre Abu Dhabi has curated a range of cultural and educational programmes to elevate the overall visitor experience. Visitors can immerse themselves in the world of fables with insightful curatorial talks, along with a series of carefully curated film screenings that explore themes of morality, wisdom, and the power of storytelling. Additionally, Louvre Abu Dhabi has organised a line-up of talks for engaging discussions on various aspects of fables.

Today's News

April 9, 2024

The gang that preyed on America's small museums

Before 'S-Town' made him famous, clock lovers knew him well

Christe's announces a significant posthumous project conceived by Dame Vivienne Westwood

Christie's international edition of 'The Collector' in collaboration with Alexandre Benjamin Navet

Worcester Art Museum presents 'New Terrain: 21st-Century Landscape Photography'

Dorotheum announces 'Classic Week April 24th-25th: Old Master Paintings, 19th Century Paintings'

Oklahoma's booming film industry has Texas' attention

Galleria Mattia De Luca opens a retrospective dedicated to Salvatore Scarpitta

Exhibition marks the first solo presentation dedicated to Al Freeman's drawing practice

Berlin was a beacon of artistic freedom. Gaza changed everything.

Tom Smart to retire as the Director of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery

Sworders announces results of the Sir Clinton Charles Donald Cory sale

Mississippi Museum of Art presents 'Thank You Please Come Again' featuring photographs by Kate Medley

Exhibition of recent paintings by John Newsom on view at MARC STRAUS

Exhibition of new paintings by Taylor Chapin opens at Quint Gallery

NGV Triennial: More than 1,063,000 visitors see blockbuster exhibition

'From Kalila wa Dimna to La Fontaine: Travelling through Fables' now open to the public

Casey Benjamin, free-spirited saxophonist, dies at 45

Albert Heath, jazz drum virtuoso, is dead at 88

Honor Fraser opens a group exhibition that surveys the liberatory affordances of sex

Nieuwe Instituut appointed as curator of the cultural programme for the Netherlands' participation at World Expo 2025

Sharjah Art Foundation announces Sharjah Biennial 16 initial artist list and curatorial framework

Mastering the Art of Flirting: An Ultimate Guide for Single Men

How Artists Are Cultivating Their Creativity

The Argument in Favor of Selecting a Cost-Effective Online Check Publishing Platform

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Royalville Communications, Inc

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful