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Splendours of the Ancient East: Antiquities from The al-Sabah Collection

Dates: 3 October 2020 – 3 February 2021

Location: Temporary Exhibitions Gallery

In celebration of the deep-rooted and unique relationship that Qatar shares with Kuwait, Qatar Museums is proud to present Splendours of the Ancient East: Antiquities from The al-Sabah Collection. The exhibition that will feature around 170 objects, grew out of the wish of Sheikh Nasser Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah and Sheikha Hussa Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah to share a selection of artefacts made to celebrate the ingenious creativity of artists from the Ancient Near East. 

For the Islamic art historian, the material culture of the region in the centuries before Islam is a revelation, dismissing the notion that the origins of Islamic art only lie in the classical world of the Roman and Sasanian empires. When looking at the history of art in the region, a continuity of certain themes can be observed, including the stylisation of animal motifs, a taste for carved hardstones and the influence of the nomadic tribes from central Asia. Treasures such as these remain hallmarks of Islamic art even to the present day.  

 

Composite stone sculpture of a lioness demon

Possibly southeastern Iran. Mid 3rd millennium BCE. 25.2 x 13 cm. The al-Sabah Collection, Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, Kuwait. LNS 339 S

Silver pouring vessel with handle and double spout in the form of two bulls

Elamite, southern Iran. 7th to 6th century BCE or earlier. 28.4 x 24.7 cm. The al-Sabah Collection, Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, Kuwait. LNS 1276 M 

Copper alloy stand in the form of a Markhor goat supporting an elaborate superstructure

Mesopotamia, Early Dynastic I . 2900 to 2700 BCE. 67 x 47 x 33 cm. The al-Sabah Collection, Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, Kuwait. LNS 1653 M

Gold plaque with enamel decoration framing the bust of Heracles

Central Asia or Black Sea region, Hellenistic period. ca. 2nd century BCE. 4.2 x 3.7 cm. The al-Sabah Collection, Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, Kuwait. LNS 3307 J a