Milan and Japan: true passion! Two other fascinating exhibitions at Royal Palace in Milan

The year 2009 is ending, but Milan‘s passion for Japan is still alive.
Infact, over the last 12 months “Samurai” and “Monet and Japan” already took place at Royal Palace in Milan, both of them with great success.

Now it’s time for “Japan. Power and Splendour (1568-1868)”, on the calendar in the same location from 6th December 2009 to 7th March 2010.
A refined exhibition, which will give the possibility to marvel at one hundred of precious works of art, coming from the most important Japanese museums: elegant ceramics, paintings on  paper and silk, decorated textiles, masks and armours… in homeland considered as true national treasures!

All the works on display were created during two crucial moments of Japanese history: the periods Momoyama (1568-1615) and Edo (1615-1868). About three centuries marked by the fall of the ancient society, traditionally based on the power of nobles and Samurai, and the gradual rise of a bourgeois middle class, rich but still excluded from the political power.

They were the new producers and consumers of art, and they are the protagonists of the works on show in Milan. This exhibition narrates us vices and virtues of urban merchants and craftsmen, their culture and ideals – which become synonymous of “modern”, their fine, dissolute, edonistic, pleasure-centred life – which completely overturned the Confucian moral.

Also the “Shunga” derive from such a revolutionary way of thinking and lifestyle: erotic prints of high artistic value.

At the beginning, they were thwarted by political power, but soon they became a central element of the production of all the most popular artists of the time. They began to circulate as books made up of 12 sheets, with several different functions: pure contemplation of art lovers, sexual education of young girls and paramours, supply of good luck to warriors.

Since the 19th century the Shunga spread out in Europe too (firtsly secretly) and they inspired a lot of popular artists and literary men. Now we can admire them in another exhibition in Royal Palace: “Shunga. Art and Eros in the Japan of the Edo period”, until 21st January 2010. Also 10 very precious original kimono are on show.

Two interesting occasions to discover unkonwn aspects of a far and fascinating country, open to the public also on Saturday night (until 10.30 pm).
Such events in Milan are part of the “Milan – World” project, which aims to underline the international artistic attitude of the city, with a view to the 2015 Expo.

For all the other information about the city of Milan and its next events, please visit

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