The Pinacothèque de Paris Museum of Art

Written by on January 22, 2013 in Art and Artists

 Le Bon Samarirtain Vincent Van Gogh

The Pinacothèque de Paris museum at 29 Place de la Madeleine is a private museum opened on the initiative of the art historian Marc Restellini; there is a second exhibition space at nearby 8 Rue Vignon.

The museum hosts temporary exhibitions of international stature throughout the year and aims to proactively reconsider the usual scope of art history. Many of their displays study periods and spaces that are rarely explored and are usually partitioned – from archaeology to contemporary art, aiming to make such an approach accessible and appealing to the public. Many of the artists featured are rarely exhibited in France, such as Jackson Pollock or Edvard Munch.

The Pinacothèque de Paris museum is currently presenting a double exhibition of Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh ( 1853-1890) and Japanese artist Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858). The presentation seeks to highlight the inspiration that Van Gogh could find in the Japanese master.

Plage des Maiko Utagawa Hiroshige

“L’Art du voyage” – two series of prints by ukiyo-e master Hiroshige described by the curator as the “Japanese Leonardo da Vinci” shows “The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido Road” and “The Sixty-Nine Stations of the Kisokaido Road”.  Sights and scenery are shown from two different routes from Edo (the old name for Tokyo) and Kyoto and they are quite stunningly beautiful. This is the first time that major works by Hiroshige have been exhibited in France.

Vincent Van Gogh, Pont Basculant, Amsterdam

The Van Gogh exhibition “Rêves de Japon”  focuses on the influence of Japanese prints on the artist’s creations and is the first major exhibition of Van Gogh’s work in Paris for many years. Van Gogh was fascinated by the prints of Japanese artists including Hiroshige and although he never visited Japan he wrote to his brother  that he thought he could find the “equivalent” of Japan as well as the “future of new art” in the South of France. The show presents forty works by Van Gogh, all borrowed from the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, the Netherlands, which owns the world’s second-largest collection of his paintings.

Van Gogh coined the phrase “Japonaiserie” to express the influence of Japanese art on European artists and in July 1988 wrote again to his brother “all my work is based on Japanese art”.

Van Gogh Japanese influence

The Pinacothèque de Paris aims to show the direct influence of a Hiroshige print on Van Gogh’s work calling it a “bold confrontation, the like of which has never been seen before” and drawing parallels between the two artists in their works of art.

These are wonderful exhibitions whether you agree with the comparisons of the two sets of artworks or not.

La Pinacotheque ParisThe exhibitions can be seen until 17 March 2013.

See the Pinacothèque de Paris website for more details and other exhibitions.


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