Islamic Art at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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Islamic Art at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Dish with arabesque pattern, Turkey, Iznik, circa 1480, Fritware, Diameter 44 cm
(Courtesy of Gemeentemuseum Den Haag)

An exhibition of Islamic art, “Splendour and Bliss — Arts of the Islamic World,” opens on September 8 at Gemeentemuseum in Hague, Netherlands. The show runs through March 3, 2019.

The display includes an extensive selection of Islamic art from the museum’s collection, which will be on view for the first time. The collection comprises glass, metal, rugs, and wooden doors dating from the 900 to 1900. “From flowing calligraphy to exuberant floral motifs, from geometric star patterns to endless arabesques and lifelike birds and fish, ‘Splendour and Bliss – Arts of the Islamic World’ will bring together many highlights of Islamic art,” the museum writes. “The exhibition, full of splendor and majesty, will focus on the ornamental character of Islamic art and on stories of culture, tradition, and craft.”

Intricate patterns and a deep cobalt hue is a prominent feature of several of these works. Another element that one notices is the highly detailed ornamentation that is part of Islamic art. “The rich decorations have a religious character, reminding the faithful of all the wonderful things that await them in the afterlife,” the museum says. They convey the love of all that is good in life which is in contrast to the art produced in Europe at the time which stressed on eternal damnation and torment. “The show unravels this unique, positive symbolism, and it will also consider how the objects were used and made,” the museum adds. It highlights the ancient techniques of glass blowing, wood carving, calligraphy, and rug. These not only shed light on the culture and tradition but also the global impact of Islamic culture. The show is also an ode to craftsmanship.

The museum holds one of the most important collections of Islamic arts in the Netherlands.  It includes objects from countries such as Afghanistan, China, Egypt, India, Iraq, Iran, Italy, Morocco, Uzbekistan, Spain, Syria, and Turkey. The installation is a combination of works from the collection along with loans from other Dutch museums. “The exhibition will be part of its long tradition of showing ceramics, glass, and rugs from the Islamic world,” the museum adds. “The Gemeentemuseum will thus highlight a side of Islamic culture that is rarely touched upon in the public debate: the positive message and exuberance of Islamic art.”

“Splendour and Bliss – Arts of the Islamic World” runs from September 8, 2018, through March 3, 2019, at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Stadhouderslaan 41, 2517 HV Den Haag, Netherlands.

For details, visit:

Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibition.

Founder: Louise Blouin