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Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier
Commemorative head of an Oba, Nigeria, ancient kingdom of Benin, 1800–50, H. 51 cm; bronze, Louvre Abu Dhabi, LAD 2015.036

GALLERY 7

Thinking the State

Following the great voyages of exploration, territorial and commercial expansion between the 16th and 18th centuries brought radical change to the exercise of power and to modes of representation and communication. From Qing China to the conflicts in the Americas, from Mughal India to the Ottoman empire, the dividing up of territories required the creation of strong networks to ensure stable governance in the new empires.
As the embodiment of a State, rulers were required to embark on ambitious programmes that amalgamated their religious, military and economic power in order to stabilise or enlarge their spheres of influence. Prompting a newfound concern with the symbolism and expression of prowess and power, the resulting objects and images were used by rulers to communicate with peers and subjects alike.

RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Philippe Fuzeau
Tiziano Vecellio known as Titian, Francis I, king of France Italy, 1539 , Oil on canvas, Musée du Louvre, INV 753

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier
Dagger with a parrot-shaped pommel, India, Goa, ca.1600, H.27.1 cm, gold, emeralds, rubies, rock crystal, steel, Louvre Abu Dhabi, LAD 2018.009

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier
Commemorative head of an Oba, Nigeria, ancient kingdom of Benin, 1800–50, H. 51 cm; bronze, Louvre Abu Dhabi, LAD 2015.036

RMNGP/ MNAAG,Paris- Thierry Ollivier
Altar ritual vases addressed to the Earth, Reign of the Qianlong Emperor, China, 1736–1795, Glazed porcelain , Musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet

RMNGP/ MNAAG,Paris- Thierry Ollivier
Cups, diplomatic gift to Louis XIV of France, Reign of the Kangxi Emperor, China, 1650–1700 Agate, Musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet
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