Culture Club in Tokyo

Incredible detail and imagination...made me think of Enigma Aracana #rayandjane

Incredible detail and imagination…made me think of Enigma Aracana #rayandjane

The Monet painting he had to use as collateral for his rent :-) #mylandlordisanidiot

The Monet painting he had to use as collateral for his rent 🙂 #mylandlordisanidiot

A most excellent day at a most excellent museum…The National Art Centre in Roppongi. Two great exhibitions: Ballet Russe-The Art of Costume and The Birth of Impressionism Freedom in Painting: Masterpieces from the Musee d’Orsay. Both were excellent but I’d have to say I liked the Ballet Russe one a bit better as I’ve never seen anything like it before. The paintings from the Musee d’Orsay exhibit were not any of their major pieces but they still had some of my favourites by Monet, Caillebotte, Cezanne and Sisely.

I learned a few things I didn’t know…always nice, makes it all worthwhile. First, in the Impressionist exhibit, there was a huge painting by Monet that was in two separate pieces. It was styled after Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe as a tribute to both the painting and the artist. The reason it was cut in pieces is that Monet was short of cash and had to give it to his landlord as collateral. When he got it back, it was damaged and he had to cut out the damaged parts and it ended up as two paintings.

In the Ballet Russe exhibit I learned a lot more, as I knew very little about Diaghilev and the Ballet Russe. Most interestingly I learned that a French painter I’ve always liked, Marie Laurencin, was a costume designer for the Ballet Russe. The costumes are the property of the National Gallery of Australia. They’re amazingly detailed and imaginative…not surprising I guess since Ballet Russe was a group of incredibly talented group of artists, dancers, choreographers, designers, painters, musicians who were on the cutting edge of art and culture at the time.

2 comments

  1. Andrea I am really enjoying the posts. My time in Tokyo was getting really blurry if you know what I mean. I am thinking Thomas and I will be making a triumphant return soon. Thanks for all the vivid prose and the great photos. Keep it up!

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    1. Thanks Rodney, glad you’re enjoying it. So much has changed and I’ve forgotten so much. I wanted to find the club I worked at in Ginza…can’t even remember which exit it was from the station. Can’t remember how to get to either of my old apartments. Can’t remember the name of the agency I did crap catalogue modelling for…so don’t feel bad 😉 had to re-learn Hiragana and still have mastered Katakana. No more vodka in the vending machines either. Great to be here though; it’s kind of a small sabbatical from real life. Highly recommend it. Oh and everyone is taller now. Had to stand on my tiptoes at the museum and I uused to be the tallest, and no, I have not started shrinking yet!

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