At MAO, Turin, opens Drop by Drop Life Falls from the Sky. Water, Islam, and Art, an exhibition curated by Alessandro Vanoli
It is the major exhibition on the relationship between water and Islam, from its most ancient origins to its many complex developments, up to more recent needs. This exhibition tells a story through images, artifacts, books, and miniatures: technology, everyday life, and art, which for centuries mirrored one another in the many ways of enjoying and using water. This exhibition bears witness to the variety and wealth of handmade objects related to the theme and use of water.
Also: Syrian water ducts, gardens in Spain, baths in Istanbul. But not only: the vast Islamic legacy that spread across Europe. From the 1500s to 19th-century Orientalism: display cases with extraordinary “transformed” objects, or objects inspired by the Islamic world. Much of this past is not only similar to ours—it belongs to us intimately.
The itinerary plays with the sound and flow of water. In fact, works and visitors are immersed in a landscape of sound and visual harmony.
Some of the most prestigious European and international museums and some important private collections have lent their precious works for this major exhibition on the relationship between water and Islam, from its most ancient origins to its many complex developments, up to more recent needs.
Among the over 120 works on display there are also four important carpets lent by the Gallery Moshe Tabibnia.
Drop by Drop Life Falls from the Sky. Water, Islam, and Art. April 13 – September 1, 2019. MAO Museo d’Arte Orientale, Turin
Round bucket, Eastern Iran, probably Heart, 15th-16th century, brass, cast, engraved and inlaid with silver, height 10 cm, diam. 20.4 cm. Courtesy of the LA Mayer Museum for Islamic Art, Jerusalem. Photo: Avshalom Avital
Aquamanile with rooster head, Iran, Kashan, 13th century, height 29 cm, MAO, Museo d’Arte Orientale, Turin
Unglazed flask, Iran, 12th/14th century, clay, moulded calligraphic decoration, height 26 cm, MAO, Museo d’Arte Orientale, Turin
Aquamanile, Spain, 11th-12th century, bronze, engraved, height 32 cm, Polo Museale della Sardegna - Pinacoteca Nazionale di Cagliari. Photo: Luigi Corda
Miniature, India, circa 1680, opaque watercolour and gold on paper, 30 x 21 cm. Courtesy of the LA Mayer Museum for Islamic Art, Jerusalem. Photo: Avshalom Avital
Fountain basin with polylobate shaped pool, Mas’ud III’s Palace, Ghazni, Afghanistan, 11th-12th century, carved marble, 71 x 71 cm, MUCIV, Museo delle Civilta, Rome. Photo: Fabio Naccari.
Kilga, Egypt, 12th century, engraved marble, height 88 cm altogether, base width 48 cm, Benaki Museum, Athens
Ottoman silk cloth with floral decoration, Turkey, possibly Istanbul, second half of 16th century, silk cloth, 52 X 58 cm, Benaki Museum, Athens.