IMPRESSIONS OF EAST. Art and collecting between Europe and Japan

October 1st, 2019 – February 2nd, 2020

The MUDEC - Museo delle Culture of Milan presents for Autumn 2019 the project MUDEC East, which will involve all the exhibition spaces of the museum and will relate from different points of view - artistic, historical and ethnographic - the reciprocal exchanges between Japan and Europe in the course of time and the cultural encounter between the two worlds.

The exhibition “Impressions of the East. Art and collecting between Europe and Japan" illustrates, through a wide and diversified selection of works coming from Italy and from abroad, the development of the taste directed towards Japan which pervaded the western artistic culture between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, particularly in France and in Italy.

On display over 170 works between paintings, prints, furnishings, sculptures and objects of applied art, coming from important Italian and European museums and from private collectors.

The exhibition goes over the profound fascination that Japan exercised on western culture and delves into the dynamics of the complex artistic exchanges which repeatedly took place between 1860 and 1900. The historical and artistic analysis gives particular attention to the context of trade relations, business ventures and great curiosity in general that characterized an entire period. In the variegated context of the international taste for Japan and of its influence on the arts, the exhibition will focus on the greatest Italian and European artists who came under the spell of 'Japanism': from De Nittis to Rodin, from Chini to Induno, from Van Gogh to Gauguin and Fantin-Latour, from Toulouse-Lautrec to Monet, displaying some of their absolute masterpieces of that period. In particular, the exhibition considers Italian Japanism, In the widest context of the international taste for Japan and of its influence on the arts, as a tendency concentrated especially in Paris, the exhibition will focus on the greatest Italian artists who fell under the spell of Japanism, like Giuseppe De Nittis, Galileo Chini, an artist who was deeply fascinated by the East, Vincenzo Gemito, Federico Zandomeneghi and Giovanni Segantini, an active interpreter of images which made use of these stimuli.
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