Enchanted Worlds
Masterpieces of Japanese Art

From 2016 onwards, to mark the 150th anniversary of the establishment of trade links between Italy and Japan, a rich program of events was scheduled in the main Italian cities to give the general public the low-down on the spellbinding nature of nineteenth-century Japanese art.

Talking with the Experts |

Rossella Menegazzo, Art historian.

Enchanted worlds, where nature – in the form of the waves and mountains of Hokusai and Hiroshige, or Utamaro’s magnificent women – are part of one and the same beauty that flutters from their woodcuts all the way down to us, remote not so much in terms of time as in terms of our lifestyle, which we share with the Japanese of today. And yet the works of the Masters of the Floating World are still there to enchant us, to transport us to a space and a time which are those of the soul becoming one with nature, rediscovering physicality in connection with the mind. They are there to tell us the story of a country that only in the late nineteenth century finally opened up to trade with the rest of the world, the art and culture of these artists at last reaching Europe and elsewhere.

For Italy, thanks to the initiatives put in place by Mondo Mostre, 2016 was a Japanese year. To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Italy’s relationship with Japan, and thanks to collaborations with the highest-level institutions in both countries, we staged a dense series of exhibitions, initiatives and events that in turn gave rise to many others, causing a vogue for all things Japanese to penetrate Italy’s homes, shops and cultural venues, thus helping the artists, customs and mores of the Land of the Rising Sun to become known to a great many people, just as Hokusai’s great wave inundated our cities. Rossella Menegazzo, an expert in Japanese culture, was the person to whom we entrusted the curation of the exhibitions, and in the video she describes all of the phases of our project.

Installation view >

  • "Hokusai, Hiroshige, Utamaro" - Palazzo Reale, Milan, 2016

  • "Scultura Buddhista" - Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome, 2016

  • "Domon Ken. Il maestro del realismo giapponese" - Ara Pacis, Rome, 2016

  • "Hokusai. Sulle orme del maestro" - Ara Pacis, Rome, 2017

  • "Kuniyoshi. Il maestro del mondo fluttuante" - Museo della Permanente, Milan, 2017

  • "Hiroshige. Visioni dal giappone" - Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome, 2018

  • "Hiroshige. Oltre l'onda" - Museo Civico Archeologico, Bologna, 2018

  • "Hokusai, Hiroshige, Hasui" - Pinacoteca Agnelli, Turin, 2019

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