The Abu Dhabi Louvre recently purchased The Scholar by Osman Hamdi Bey. Even though the Louvre Abu Dhabi is still under construction, the Louvre has been acquiring paintings, sculptures, and other artwork to represent their museum.
One would ask, what is the significance of the Louvre buying this one painting by Osman Hamdi Bey? Or what does The Scholar mean to the Abu Dhabi Louvre? Well first we must look to the Louvre as a site. The structure of the building resembles an incrusted tree with its branches hovering, almost surrounding the interior of the building. The dome like structure of the main ceiling is a grateful reminder to Ottoman Mosques in Cairo, Egypt and Iraq. Sitting off the coast of Abu Dhabi, the building stands in a minimalist style with one shade of coloring – white. The overall effect of the branch like design is to embody date palm fronds found in an oasis, hence the rays of sunlight passing through the branches.
So in imagining this exceedingly colorful painting standing on the white walls of the museum, the strong contrasting is very effective Centering the painting perfectly on the white wall, it levels the outline of the exhibitions so there isn’t that much to distract the painting. It’s interesting how the Louvre chose to do this, as though they want each piece of art to stand like an individual, to see it in crisp clarity. Personally, I assume the Louvre wants each paining to be represented for what it adds to the realm of the art community. So having this white theme to the entirety of the building structure allows each painting to be distinctive in its representation.
The uniqueness of each artwork is illustrated through the range of exhibitions that will be on display when the Louvre Abu Dhabi opens. The some exhibitions are centralized about the Muslin world and traditions, which does give an answer to why they purchased The Scholar by Hamdi Bey because of it’s cultural influence on to the growth of the Ottoman community that hails strongly in Abu Dhabi. As the Louvre Abu Dhabi wants to display the focus of the gaping bridge between Western and Eastern Art. [Barret Article]Osman Hamdi Bey contributed to their society, and therefore his art depicts the reality of their culture. The Ottomans want a representative for the Louvre. While other exhibitions will featuring European artists in the example of Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, George Wilson Bridges, and artists alike.
In Turkey during the 1970-80’s the Ottoman Empire was starting to build modernity and education together, and with so the birth of imperial museums started to play a role in the Ottoman culture. Interestingly enough, because of Osman’s father and his succession lineage, Hamdi Bey was offered a job as coordinator and director of the museum. I consider this to be very interesting based on the knowledge of what selection of artwork the Louvre Abu Dhabi has been purchasing for their exhibitions; with the percentage of European paintings, the curators have been creating this emphasis on the evolution of art throughout all aspects of the world, ” It will not be dedicated to occidental art but will show all kinds of artistic creations. It will set up a dialogue between west and east, between north and south. As such, art from the Middle East will be shown within the Louvre Abu Dhabi.” Henri Loyrette told The National in 2008 on the topic of Middle Eastern art being represented in their exhibitions.
The imperial museums of Turkey was a way in which people of the area could look at the collection of antiques the Ottomans have been storing in Church of Hagia Irene for centuries. What you come to notice is how the growth of the art world stated in Turkey. The soul reasoning they created this museum was to exemplify the evolution of their state. While the Louvre Abu Dhabi wants to incorporate Middle Eastern art into their exhibitions for the reasoning that it’s now an addition to the art world. Osman Hamdi Bey is a classic example of European implications of style converting into the modernity of the Ottoman art. Osman breaks this tightly wrapped seal of strict European artwork into Orientalist work. There is always an expansion of artwork from all over the globe, and the meaning of the Louvre Abu Dhabi adding The Scholar to the exhibition is presenting the modernity of the Middle East as they will do with every aspect around the world.