In the echoes of history in palace walls, mosques, weapon handles, luxurious textiles, and French fashion houses (or ‘Maison’), Cartier found an early muse in the intricate world of Islamic patterns.
Ancient artistry etched into the soul of these structures inspired a treasure trove of rare Cartier jewellery pieces at the turn of the 20th century, signalling a deep and enduring fascination.
Several of those pieces are now on display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi captivating exhibition Cartier and Islamic Art: In Search of Modernity until 24 March 2024.
It takes a deep dive into the family’s love of Islamic design, colour, and geometry, which ignited a journey of exploration by the fabled Maison, established in Paris in 1847 by its founder, Louis-Francois Cartier.
The resulting pieces, many created during the reign of Cartier’s two grandsons (Louis and Jacques), are adorned with diamonds and precious gemstones and transcend traditional jewellery to become embodiments of artistic influence.
Drawn to the East
Every corner of the exhibition reveals Cartier’s ingenious translation of ideas and concepts into opulent, shimmering pieces with traces of Persian and Indian influence.
More than 400 artistic expressions come to life through the clever employment of scenography.
They include treasures from the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Museum of Decorative Arts, and the Louvre Museum in Paris.
Secrets from the archives of Maison Cartier have been complemented by exceptional loans made by Le Petit Palais (the Museum of Fine Arts in Paris) and other enchanting pieces borrowed from various institutions and entities.