Celebrated as one of the world’s most prominent and well-known art collectors, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani lends some of his most extraordinary works to the Hotel De La Marine in the French capital, Paris.
In November 2021, when a private dinner followed the inauguration of The Al Thani Collection. The opening of the exhibition curated from the collections of Qatari Prince HH Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani, spoke without words, of him as a true connoisseur of arts, world history and someone which has obtained more than 5,000 works over 2 decades. In a press release on the exhibition, Philippe Bélaval, president of the Center des monuments nationaux, of the current loan of 120 treasures from the Al Thani Collection for 20 years at the Hôtel de la Marine, said: “An extraordinary opportunity… They will be discovering one of the richest and most prestigious private collections in the world. Amin Jaffer, Senior Curator of the Collection, added: “Until 2018, little was known about the wide range of artworks in the Al Thani Collection, which was formed for private enjoyment and shared primarily in academic circles.
It would not be the first time that the Qatari prince would lend his works to outside establishments. In fact, pieces from his revered personal collections have been exhibited at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the National Museum in Tokyo, the Château de Fontainebleau in France, the Palace Museum in Beijing, the Doge’s Palace in Venice and at the Grand Palais in Paris, where Indian jewelry from the time of the Mughals and Maharajas was on display.
The prince also spoke about his inspirations, his youth and his inspirations regarding his keen interest in the arts, as he recalled: “As a child, I was completely fascinated by history and architecture . When I was about six years old, I visited the Louvre for the first time and was enchanted by its treasures. Over the next few years, my mother would take me to visit museums, castles and grand houses, and I developed a fascination with European art and culture. He continued, “I started reading constantly. Each book inspired more questions than it answered and inspired me to explore countless other topics. It was a limitless learning journey that continues to this day.
Sheikh Hamad was educated between Qatar and the UK – where he spent a lot of time studying history and physics, with history quickly becoming his favorite subject, “From an early age, my free time has been occupied by my fascination with history, architecture and art. Once you embark on the journey to learn more about art, it becomes an endless pursuit. I have read books , visited museums and sought to learn more about each subject I encountered; it really is a world without limits – I am still learning today.
He also went on to talk about his very first acquisition of a collectible, which was a pair of Regency silver wine coolers by the great British goldsmith Paul Storr (1771-1844), which he bought in 1999. “I was on my way back to London from Coventry University one day and decided to visit a local antique shop in Stratford-upon-Avon which was full of English furniture and works of art. art, and I found them there. I was instantly attracted to them, and they remain a prized possession. The English silverware of the Georgian period is particularly remarkable.
After collecting his first collectibles as a student, the Qatari royal deepened his knowledge and interest in the great civilizations of the past, including the Greeks, Egyptians and Romans, as well as Africa and Asia , among others, and began collecting coins. of these civilizations.
The Hôtel De La Marine exhibition includes objects from these civilizations, a collection dedicated to portraits of people and representations of gods in human form from Gabon to Mesopotamia and Egypt as well as a singular gallery dedicated to masterpieces of Islamic lands.