Impressionism is an art movement that came to life in France in the latter half of the 19th century. Even now, more than a century later, this art movement continues to fascinate people with its depiction of light. The artworks show one moment in nature as if it were captured by a camera of someone’s soul. For the exhibition “The Genealogy of Light: Impressionist Masterworks from The Israel Museum, Jerusalem” being held at the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo, many valuable works of Impressionists and Post-Impressionists have been brought to Japan for the first time.
Encounter “Light, Nature, Cities, and People” in four chapters
The current exhibition shows Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces from the collection of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, which houses an astonishing number of around 500,000 cultural assets and works of art. Of the 69 works on display, including Van Gogh and Monet, 59 have never been shown in Japan!
Organized into four chapters, the selected artworks all capture light in different situations. They show reflections on water surfaces, landscapes, people together with nature, urban landscapes of modern cities as well as portraits and still lifes.
In the area of Chapter 1 “Water Landscape and Reflection”, you can enjoy paintings of various waterscapes. Some pictures show tranquil lakes sparkling in the sunshine, some show rough sea waves in stormy weather. The way light and shadows are expressed in Impressionism differs from the painting style of the majestic (but sometimes heavy feeling) romantic paintings.
Fun discoveries and unexpected encounters
It’s a lot of fun to discover the message hidden by the curators during the artistic journey from the dawn of Impressionism to the birth of Post-Impressionism while visiting the museum.
For example, paintings of a master and his disciple are displayed facing each other, and two paintings that Van Gogh is said to have painted in 1888 – even though the painting style looks quite different – are displayed side by side.
One particular artist is drawing attention at this exhibition. Born in East Prussia (now Poland) of Jewish descent, Lesser Ury was active primarily in Germany. His works show dark sceneries of night and dusk, but often with a hint of a bright light somewhere. In this sense, his pictures stand out from the other works in the exhibition, which are mostly painted in pastel or vivid color schemes.
Themed dessert inside a beautiful cafe
At the museum cafe/bar “Café 1894”, you can enjoy two tie-up menus that match the theme of the ongoing exhibition.
I had a dessert inspired by Charles-François Daubigny’s work “Apple Trees in Blossom” which is on display inside the exhibition area.
The combination of bittersweet caramel jelly, savory apples stewed in Calvados, rich chiboust and cream cheese ice cream is truly a masterpiece!
Don’t miss this fascinating exhibition where you can enjoy Impressionist art with your eyes – and stomach!
Have a nice time at the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo!
“The Genealogy of Light: Impressionist Masterworks from The Israel Museum, Jerusalem”
Period: October 15, 2021 (Friday) – January 16, 2022 (Sunday)
Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo
2-6-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/TzWZmhJs3XwzaFoQ8
Nearest Stations: Tokyo Station, Yurakucho Station, Otemachi Station, Nijubashimae Station, Hibiya Station
*For car parking, please use the “Marunouchi Parking”
(There is a discount service according to the amount spent at nearby shops and restaurants.)