Exhibition: 3 October 2024 - 5 October 2025

Colour Speaks all Languages.
Selected works from The Al Thani Collection.

From Autumn 2024, The Al Thani Collection at the Hôtel de la Marine will host a temporary exhibition on the theme of colour and the ways it has been used and interpreted in works of art by different civilisations throughout history. Presenting 80 works of art drawn from The Al Thani Collection, most of which are shown at the Hôtel de la Marine for the first time, the exhibition includes a diverse selection of extraordinary and often unusual objects representing cultures across five continents, and spanning the second millenium BC to the 21st century. They are presented in six sections according to their colour: black, white, red, yellow, blue and green.

Each section comprises a diverse range of cultural and historical works, encompassing a multitude of materials and techniques. These include sculptures crafted from wood, stone, or metal; ceramics; textiles; engravings; miniature painting; and objets d'art. The exhibition includes a Fang-Betsi wooden reliquary guardian sculpture (black), a Roman marble sculpture (white), a Mughal hookah base (red), an Egyptian head-shaped inlay (blue), an Olmec ceremonial axe in jade (green) and a Mughal miniature (yellow).

By way of this classification, visitors are invited to observe the various materials used to create the works in relation to their production technique. They can reflect on the effects produced by the variety of colours, the brilliance of the hues and the contrasts within the works, and finally, they can ponder the symbolism of the works in relation to the cultures of the world.

Titled after a quotation by the English essayist Joseph Addison (1676-1719), the exhibition will be on view in Gallery 3; a selection of Renaissance masterpieces from The Al Thani Collection are on display in Galleries 1, 2 and 4.

Organised by The Al Thani Collection Foundation in collaboration with the Centre des monuments nationaux. Curated by Hélène de Givry, curator at The Al Thani Collection.

01 October 2024 - 05 October 2025

Exhibition highlights

The Hope Isis


Roman; AD 50–150
Pentelic marble
H. 60.9cm; W. 27cm; D. 20cm
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Reliquary head


Fang-Betsi, ca. 1800–1900
Wood, iron, brass
H. 28.2 cm; W. 14.3 cm; D. 15 cm
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Hookah base


Mughal, 1700-1750
Glass, gold
H. 17.5 cm; Dia. 14.5 cm
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Head Inlay


New Kingdom, 18th-19th dynasty, ca. 1292-1070 BC
H. 3.8 cm; W. 4.6 cm
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Olmec, ca. 900-400 BC
H. 20 cm; W. 9.5 cm; D. 5 cm
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A Nobleman and his Harem Watching Fireworks


Mughal, 1675-1725
Paper, opaque pigments and gold
H. 36.3 cm W. 24 cm
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