The museum, the only offshoot of the Louvre, opened Nov. 11. Its inaugural exhibition, “One Louvre to Another: Opening a Museum for Everyone,” will open Dec. 21. It ends April 7.
The show’s three sections will tell the story of the Louvre, with royal paintings from Versailles under King Louis XIV, the Louvre as a salon and residency for artists, and the ultimate creation of the museum.
About 150 paintings, sculptures and decorative arts pieces from the Louvre and Versailles will be displayed.
Louvre Abu Dhabi, a newly opened branch of the storied Paris museum, will display “Salvator Mundi” (Savior of the World) by Leonardo da Vinci. The 16th century painting sold at a London auction for $450 million.
The painting depicts “Christ as Savior of the World, facing the viewer, and dressed in flowing robes of lapis and crimson,” the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism said in a recent news release. He holds a “crystal orb” in one hand and raises the other to make a benediction.
The painting will be displayed alongside another Da Vinci work, “La Belle Ferronniere,” a portrait of a woman on loan from the original Louvre.
The domed museum itself is a work of art designed by French architect Jean Nouvel.
The building with an elaborate latticed dome was built on Saadiyat Island and contains pieces from ancient times to modern day. It has 23 permanent galleries and room for temporary shows plus a Children’s Museum, auditorium and research center.
Admission costs 60 dirham ($16) for adults and 30 dirham ($8) for 13- to 22-year-olds.
The idea for a museum in the United Arab Emirates came out of a 2007 agreement between Abu Dhabi and France that allows the cultural agency to use the Louvre name for 30 years.
Info: Louvre Abu Dhabi