I enjoyed a visit to Tate Britain during ‘The Lure of the East’ painting exhibition. The canvases, by British artists, included one of Sir Robert Shirley, an envoy between the Persian and British courts, looking quite splendid in Persian style garments; their colour and decoration being Safavid are in the same style as the carpet in the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Remarkably I came across a watercolour by the Victorian artist’ Arthur Melville cited as being inspired by a cock fight in Muscat.
Another piece by him showing an interior with ‘Mashrabiya” was set in a section of the gallery screened with a Mashrabiya – a nice setting .
On the same day I had a meeting with Jessica Harrison-Hall the Curator of Chinese Ceramics at the British Museum. No sooner did I arrive but the door was opened with the instruction – “we need to evacuate the building”. Fortunately, it was only for about 40 minutes and she then very kindly dated some shards I had come across in various locations in Oman. The Hadrian exhibition will have to wait for another day.
This week has not only been one celebrating the National Day of Oman but it has had a preponderance of glamorous mechanical equipment on the streets and skies. First off were Britain’s Red Arrows. They come to Oman on a regular basis and perform over the main beach in Muscat.
Though the cyclone & heavy rain in Oman during 2007 was a shock, it was extraordinary to then holiday in Britain during some of its worst flooding for many years. Fortunately, apart from a short visit to St Antony’s College in Oxford, I was well away from the flooding. This summer two similar collections of Islamic Art were exhibited in London Continue reading “Islamic Art in London”