Famed Da Vinci painting ‘Saint John the Baptist’ now on show at Louvre Abu Dhabi


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Abu Dhabi: Saint John the Baptist, a renowned painting by Italian Renaissance master Leonardo Da Vinci, has arrived at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the museum announced on Monday.

The painting, which is on loan for two years from Paris’ Musee du Louvre, was displayed at the Abu Dhabi museum in the presence of senior officials. It will be available for public viewing at the facility’s galleries from Tuesday onwards.

The celebrated painting has been brought to the Louvre Abu Dhabi on the occasion of the museum’s fifth anniversary. The facility first opened its doors on November 11, 2017.

Da Vinci’s last work

Known for being one of the most famous paintings in the Musee du Louvre, Saint John the Baptist represents the peak of the master’s genius. Left unfinished at the death of the artist, the painting once belonged to very prestigious owners, including King Charles I of England, followed by France’s King Louis XIV, before joining the Musée du Louvre, after its opening in 1793.

Composed as an oil painting on walnut wood, the work depicts the figure of John the Baptist. The saint is dressed in furs and has long curly hair. He is shown to be smiling, with a hand pointed towards the sky.

On show

Unveiling the painting at Louvre Abu Dhabi was Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, museum chairman, Manuel Rabaté, museum director, Vincent Delieuvin, curator of Italian paintings of the XVI Century at Musée du Louvre’s department of paintings, and other dignitaries.

The presentation of Saint John the Baptist at Louvre Abu Dhabi is part of a series of four major loans made by the Musée du Louvre, following the intergovernmental agreement extension signed on December 2021 between Al Mubarak and Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin, then French Minister of Culture.

Impressionist exhibition

The museum is also celebrating its fifth anniversary with a comprehensive showcase of the French impressionist movement, which is running as a temporary exhibition until February 5, 2023. The exhibit includes 150 famous pieces by a number of renowned French artists, including Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Paul Cezanne, Auguste Renoir, and Gustave Caillebotte

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Free access

The museum is open from 10am until midnight every day except on Mondays. It has also recently changed its opening hours, and now offers free access to the facilities until midnight after the galleries close.

Children, people of determination, and UAE residents aged more than 60 years also have free access to the museum at all times.