Hokusai’s Oriental appeal at Rome

To enjoy alive an oriental view in the heart of Rome you can’t miss the first monographical exhibition “HOKUSAI – along the Maestro’s track”. Launched at the Ara Pacis on the 12th of October in a great curiosity atmosphere towards Japanese culture and tradition, it is also the final event of the 150° bilateral relationship Italy – Japan celebration.

In the five sections you will find 200 masterpieces, unique line and style, some of them polychrome woodblock prints and other painted scrolls (to be displayed in two separate turns so as not to compromise the fragile materials) coming from famous Kawasaki and Genoa Museums, and private collections.

Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) has been an exceptionally prolifical, vangard and versatile artist. He practiced different shapes and tecniques: ink and colours drawings on vertical roll, different misures molticolour xylographies, elegant surimono like greeting cards, calendars and invitations. He painted different subjects also here seen: meisho (famous places you can’t miss), landscapes, animals, flowers, withdraw, women beauties, worriors, ghosts, semilegendary animals and erotical figures. Up to the portraial Manga collections, part of the Japanese education (born like professional painters’ manuals), effective examples of the Maestro innovative and eccentric style.

“Some of the masterpieces representing women figures and details are real fashion catalogues.”
Rossella Menegazzo

In this exibition you have the chance to compare the opera to that of his contemporary and follower Keisai Eisen, interesting examples of coninuity and cultural liveliness in Edo (modern Tokyo).

What a good opportunity to appreciate unique pieces of the indisputed Master of the genre ukiyoe (“immages of the Floating World”). The fascinating representative of the end of the eighteen century oriental art, still relevant today, had a grat influence upon the european contemporary artists such as Manet, Toulouse Lautrec, Van Gogh e Monet, the proatagonists of the Japonisme.

“I envy the Japanise the extreme clarity that everything in ther works has…their work is as simple as breathing, and they do a figure with a few confident strokes with the same ease as if it was as simple as buttoning your waitcoast.”
Vincent Van Gogh

How did Hokusai become famous? It sounds strange but the artist became famous as soon as his painted packaging papers reached Europe. “The masterpieces became viral” – according to the World Street Journal – and the success is immediate, because this kind of works have never been seen before. The cultural and technical oriental appeal spread all over until nowadays.

Date: 12 October 2017 – 14 January 2017;
Tickets: 11€; reduced 9€;
Proposed by: Roma Capitale, Assessorato alla Crescita culturale – Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali and supported by Japanese Embassy;
Planned by: MondoMostre Skira and Zètema Progetto Cultura
Curated by: Rosella Menegazzo

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