A visitor look at an art piece titled 'The Sad Mona Lisa' Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Sharjah: Original art works by Kahlil Gibran are on display at the Sharjah Art Museum, giving fans and residents a rare opportunity to experience the genius of the legendary poet, artist and writer.

Wednesday’s opening of the exhibition makes it the largest collection of Gibran’s work ever to go on show in the UAE, organisers said.

The exhibition, of some 30 works and manuscripts, was officially inaugurated by Shaikh Khalid Bin Abdullah Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman, Department of Seaports and Customs.

The opening was also attended by Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, and Shaikha Nawar Bint Ahmad Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, among other dignitaries.

The collection includes Gibran’s 1916 watercolour, Face of a Veiled Woman; a charcoal self-portrait from 1908; and an oil painting from 1910 called The Sad Mona Lisa.

Besides his actual works, there are also artifacts such as Gibran’s watercolour set and postcards received by him.

Entry is free to the exhibition, called Gibran: A Humane Perspective, which ends on December 10. It has been organised in collaboration with Lebanon’s Gibran National Committee (GNC).

Manal Ataya, director-general, Sharjah Museums Department, said the display provides visitors “a unique chance to see, and better understand, impressive and important aspect of the artistic work, of one of the Arab world’s most noted artists and thinkers. Our collaboration with the [GNC] has enabled us to bring this prestigious exhibition to the UAE for the first time.”

The Lebanese-American literary icon is widely regarded as one of the best selling poets of all time, behind only the likes of English playwright William Shakespeare and the ancient Chinese philosopher Laozi.

Gibran, who used to write in Arabic and English, is perhaps best know in the Western world for his 1923 fiction book The Prophet, a series of philosophical essays. The book, composed in prose poetry, has been translated in over 40 languages and has never stopped printing.

Gibran, who died aged 48 in New York in 1931, was also an acclaimed artist. Visitors to the Sharjah exhibition can view how he made use of different mediums, including watercolour, oils, and charcoal on paper and canvas.

The renowned poet is still hailed as a literary hero in his native Lebanon. Born in 1883 in the town of Bsharri, he migrated to the US with his family at the age of 12. On his death in 1931, he left behind a vast collection of paintings and literary works that reflect his ideologies of love, politics, and spirituality.

His philosophies were mainly delivered through his essays and poems, both in Arabic and English.

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Khalil Gibran, who died aged 48 in New York in 1931, wrote in Arabic and English. He is perhaps best known in the West for his 1923 fiction work The Prophet, a series of philosophical essays. The book, composed in prose poetry, has been translated into over 40 languages and has never been out of print.

The renowned poet is still hailed as a literary hero in his native Lebanon.

Born in 1883 in the town of Bsharri, he migrated to the US with his family at the age of 12. On his death in 1931 he left behind a vast collection of paintings and literary works that reflect his ideologies of love, politics, and spirituality.