Earliest photo of Makkah on display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

The earliest image of Makkah by Sadiq Bey in 1881. (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris)
Updated 01 April 2019
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Earliest photo of Makkah on display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

  • The exhibition will be open from April 25 till July 13
  • It will feature images of the world from the time period between 1842 - 1896

DUBAI: A photograph of Makkah, shot by Muhammad Sadiq Bey in 1881, will be displayed in Louvre Abu Dhabi’s first photography exhibition starting April 25, one of the earliest images taken in Saudi Arabia.

Photographs 1842 – 1896: An Early Album of the World will be open for visitors until July 13. It is the second international exhibition the museum will host this year.

(musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac)

The museum will display some of the earliest 250 photographs of the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas, taken between 1842 and 1896, including some of the oldest photographs of Saudi Arabia and Yemen by Auguste Barthold.

Mohamed Khalifa Al-Mubarak, chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi, said the exhibition aims to “showcase part of our inspiring human heritage.”

“Photography is one of the most important tools that has contributed to documenting the history of the world and its diverse cultures,” he added.

(musee du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac)

The exhibition is organized by Louvre Abu Dhabi in collaboration with musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac and Agence France-Muséums, and is sponsored by the Bank of Sharjah.

Most of the images come from musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac’s collection, with some images from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet, Musée d’Orsay, la Société de Géographie and La Cité de la Céramique – Sèvres & Limoges.

The museum will feature works by renowned photographers, such as Luis Garcia Hevia from Colombia, the Abdullah brothers and Pascal Sebah from Turkey, Lala Deen Dayal from India, Marc Ferrez from Brazil, Lai Fong from China, Kassian Cephas from Indonesia, Alexandre Michon and Nikolai Charushin from Russia, Francis Chit from Thailand, and Ichida Sôta and Suzuki Shin'ichi II from Japan.

(musee du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac)

The exhibition will be accompanied by a number of educational and cultural activities related to photography, such as workshops, film screenings, a conference and a cine-concert.

The cine-concert, In the Land of the Head Hunters, is a musical interpretation of a Native American version of Rome and Juliet silent movie by French musician Rodolphe Burger.

Visitors can enjoy a multimedia tour of the exhibition in Arabic, English and French.


Lefaucheux revolver ‘Van Gogh killed himself with’ up for auction

Updated 17 June 2019
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Lefaucheux revolver ‘Van Gogh killed himself with’ up for auction

  • Van Gogh experts believe that he shot himself with the gun near the village of Auvers-sur-Oise north of Paris
  • The seven-millimeter Lefaucheux revolver is expected to fetch up to $67,000

PARIS: The revolver with which Vincent van Gogh is believed to have shot himself is to go under the hammer Wednesday at a Paris auction house.
Billed as “the most famous weapon in the history of art,” the seven mm Lefaucheux revolver is expected to fetch up to $67,000 (€60,000).
Van Gogh experts believe that he shot himself with the revolver near the village of Auvers-sur-Oise north of Paris, where he spent the last few months of his life in 1890.
Discovered by a farmer in 1965 in the same field where the troubled Dutch painter is thought to have fatally wounded himself, the gun has already been exhibited at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
While Art Auction, who are selling the gun, say there is no way of being absolutely certain that it is the fatal weapon, tests showed it had been in the ground for 75 years, which would fit.
The Dutch artist had borrowed the gun from the owner of the inn in the village where he was staying.
He died 36 hours later after staggering wounded back to the auberge in the dark.
It was not his first dramatic act of self-harm. Two years earlier in 1888, he cut off his ear before offering it to a woman in a brothel in Arles in the south of France.
While most art historians agree that Van Gogh killed himself, that assumption has been questioned in recent years, with some researchers claiming that the fatal shot may have been fired accidentally by two local boys playing with the weapon in the field.
That theory won fresh support from a new biopic of the artist starring Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate.”
Its director, the renowned American painter Julian Schnabel, said that Van Gogh had painted 75 canvasses in his 80 days at Auvers-sur-Oise and was unlikely to be suicidal.
The legendary French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere — who co-wrote the script with Schnabel — insisted that there “is absolutely no proof he killed himself.
“Do I believe that Van Gogh killed himself? Absolutely not!” he declared when the film was premiered at the Venice film festival last September.
He said Van Gogh painted some of his best work in his final days, including his “Portrait of Dr. Gachet,” the local doctor who later tried to save his life.
It set a world record when it sold for $82.5 million in 1990.
The bullet Dr. Gachet extracted from Van Gogh’s chest was the same caliber as the one used by the Lefaucheux revolver.
“Van Gogh was working constantly. Every day he made a new work. He was not at all sad,” Carriere argued.
In the film the gun goes off after the two young boys, who were brothers, got into a struggle with the bohemian stranger.
Auction Art said that the farmer who found the gun in 1965 gave it to the owners of the inn at Auvers-sur-Oise, whose family are now selling it.
“Technical tests on the weapon have shown the weapon was used and indicate that it stayed in the ground for a period that would coincide with 1890,” it said.
“All these clues give credence to the theory that this is the weapon used in the suicide.”
That did not exclude, the auction house added, that the gun could also have been hidden or abandoned by the two young brothers in the field.
The auction comes as crowds are flocking to an immersive Van Gogh exhibition in the French capital which allows “the audience to enter his landscapes” through projections on the gallery’s walls, ceilings and floors.
“Van Gogh, Starry Night” runs at the Atelier des Lumieres in the east of the city until December.