25 July-20 Sept. Exhibition displaying more than 300 pieces from Kuwait's al-Sabah Collection, one of the most important collections of Middle Eastern art in the world.
The collection was begun in 1975 by Sheikh Nasser Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah and his wife, and now comprises some 35,000 items. The exhibition in Rome is divided into two parts.
The first section provides an historical and geographical introduction to Muslim civilisations and illustrates the development of several major cultures. It focuses in particular on the three great 16th-century empires: the Turkish Ottoman empire in the Mediterranean; the Iranian Safavid empire; and India's Mughal empire.
The second part of the exhibition highlights the principal artistic themes of Islamic art, including the scientific exploration of mathematics and geometry, the use of the floral Arabesque motif, calligraphy, and both the abstract and realistic depiction of animal and human figures.