In its first exhibition of 2024

“Louvre Abu Dhabi” takes the audience on a tour “From Calila and Dimna to La Fontaine”

The exhibition includes a wonderful collection of ancient stories and illustrated symbolic tales, as well as a journey through time. From the source

Based on its position as one of the leading cultural institutions in the region, the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum announced the opening of its first exhibition this year called “From Kalila and Dimna to La Fontaine: A Journey Between Stories and Wisdom.” The exhibition was opened by Mohammed Khalifa Al Mubarak, President of the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum. This distinguished exhibition is held in partnership with the French National Library and the Fondation des Museums de France, and with generous support from the fine jewelry house Van Cleef & Arpels. A wonderful collection of ancient stories and symbolic tales is also displayed, where visitors can enjoy a unique journey through time.

The exhibition draws inspiration from traditional pictorial symbolic tales found in some historical manuscripts, delves into the mysterious world of animal tales, and hosts more than 132 works of art. It also includes a selection of rare manuscripts, paintings, and contemporary artworks, revealing a collection of timeless tales that are evident. It contains the concepts of friendship, loyalty, cunning, and moral aspects, as it was embodied through a group of animals that were given human qualities in the context of those tales.

Symbolic tales are known as one of the types of literary works that consist of short stories revolving around a group of animals or inanimate tools that possess human characteristics. Their goal is often to teach readers moral lessons and introduce them to human behaviors, through the actions of the characters in those tales and what happens between them. Of interactions.

The exhibition explores the origins of this type of literary works in India and Greece, tracing the stages of its development through the contributions of two prominent figures in this field: Ibn al-Muqaffa in the Arab-Islamic world, and Aesop in the Greco-Roman world. Through this exhibition, visitors will discover how the Arabic translation of Ibn al-Muqaffa (ca. 720-756 AD) contributed fundamentally to the translations that followed, such as the Persian and French versions that John de La Fontaine relied on in his translations.

La Fontaine (ca. 1621-1695 AD) is widely known as one of the most prominent literary figures in French history. His distinguished works left a lasting impact on French literature, and are still highly praised to this day, thanks to their appeal and timeless wisdom.

Director of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Manuel Rabate, said: “The role of the Louvre Abu Dhabi is not limited to presenting art only, as it weaves narratives based on its position as a global museum concerned with telling distinctive stories. “Allegorical tales have transcended linguistic and cultural boundaries, and have inspired new creations in the East and West.”

“This is the first time that visitors will have a unique opportunity to view and compare rare and valuable works of art, representing three distinct types of traditional symbolic tales,” said Annie Vernay-Nouri, curator of the exhibition and former chief curator of the Department of Oriental Manuscripts at the French National Library.

The exhibition includes three main sections: journeys of symbolic tales, storytelling, and symbolic tales today, through which the audience will embark on a journey through time with the texts by learning about the various modifications and translations they have undergone.