Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum to Hold Exhibition “Van Gogh & Japan”

If you are a fan of Dutch Post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), you know how his works are heavily influenced by Ukiyo-e (meaning “pictures of the floating world”). Ukiyo-e is a genre of Japanese art which flourished from the 17th through 19th centuries. Its artists produced woodblock prints and paintings of such subjects as female beauties; kabuki actors and sumo wrestlers; scenes from history and folk tales; travel scenes and landscapes; flora and fauna; and erotica.

The relation between Van Gogh and Japanese art is seldom used as an exhibition theme. Therefore, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum decided to hold an exhibition titled “Van Gogh & Japan” to showcase Van Gogh’s works incorporating Japanese art.

Vincent van Gogh. Courtesan. 1887. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

Vincent van Gogh. Olive Grove. 1889. Kröller Müller Museum.

At the age of 33, Van Gogh moved to Paris, where he was influenced by Japanese art. He became interested in Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints, and collected over hundreds of them. He tried his hand at Japonaiserie by reproducing figures to oil paintings.

Vincent van Gogh. Self-Portrait as a Painter. 1887. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

Vincent van Gogh. Butterflies and Poppies. 1889. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

Japanese art was one of the sources of inspiration to Van Gogh. After he passed away, his works also influenced many Japanese artists. Through some 40 of Van Gogh’s oil paintings and sketches plus 50 works by Japanese ukiyo-e artists, this exhibition explores the mutual fascination between Van Gogh and Japan.

The exhibition will be held from this Tuesday (24 October) to 8 January 2018. It will move to The National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto from 20 January to 4 March 2018. You have got plenty of time to dive into the masterpieces by Van Gogh.

Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum is situated at Ueno Park Taito-ku and it is easily accessible. It takes 7 minutes walking from JR “Ueno Station” Park Exit or 10 minutes walking from“Ueno Station” Exit 7, Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Hibiya Line, or 10 min walking from Keisei Line “Ueno Station”.


Other highlights

Vincent van Gogh. The Bedroom. 1888. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

Vincent van Gogh. Undergrowth With Two Figures. 1980. Cincinnati Art Museum.

Vincent van Gogh. In the Café: Agostina Segatori in Le Tambourin. 1887. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam


Van Gogh & Japan

Period: 2017/10/24 - 2018/1/8
Venue: Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
General Tickets|JPY 1,600
College Students|JPY 1,300
High School Students|JPY 800
Seniors 65+|JPY 1,000
Visitors junior high school age or younger, visitors with a physical disability and one accompanying person|Free

Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum

Opening hours:9:30am - 5:30pm
Entire Museum Closed: 9-16 July|25 December|31 December – 1 January|11-18 January
Special Exhibitions and Thematic Exhibitions|Mondays (except national
holidays, when closed following day instead)
All other exhibitions|every 1st and 3rd Monday (except national holidays,
when closed following day instead)
Address: 8-36 Ueno-Park Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0007