Hokusai, Hiroshige, Utamaro… The great masters of Japan The Georges Leskowicz collection

From November 8 2019 22 in March 2020
Hotel de Caumont-Center for art. 3 rue Joseph Cabassol. 13100 AIX-EN-PROVENCE

The Hôtel de Caumont-Center d'art presents the customs and Japanese culture of the Edo period (1600-1867), through more than 150 ukiyo-e prints and other remarkable objects unveiled to the French public for the very first time . They are mostly from the collection of Georges Leskowicz, one of the most important collections of Japanese prints in the world.

Ukiyo-e prints: 'images of a floating world' • The ukiyo-e designate a new lifestyle, reflecting the popular pleasures of the Edo era. This period was characterized by an artistic and cultural effervescence but also by a confinement vis-à-vis any foreign influence. These prints show all the technical and iconographic variety of an ancestral and fascinating art. The art of ukiyo-e has marked Japanese cartoons and Western comics in particular.

Surimono: rare and refined prints • Signed Hokusai, Hiroshige, Hokkei, Gakutei, among others, these prints are made on luxury paper using precious and sophisticated techniques. Intended for restricted circles and drawn in a small number of copies, the surimono most often combine figurative compositions and poetic texts in the form of sought-after calligraphies. Representing the quintessence of Japanese refinement, these works illustrate the whole range of themes and images characteristic of the life and culture of ancient Japan that the exhibition will cover.

Remarkable objects • The exhibition also presents handicrafts from the period, carefully chosen from public and private collections. The representations of the courtesans echo unusual hats and other female accessories, while the engraved representations of the legends of warriors and samurai are accompanied by original helmets and spectacular armor. Writing cases, utensils and everyday objects as well as photographic reproductions and film extracts immerse you in the daily life of ancient Japan.

The showcase of masterpieces • The last room presents a surprising scenography highlighting 3 masterpieces of the print presented in rotation:
The reverse side of the great wave of Kanagawa Hokusai: from November 8 to 21 and then from March 8 to 22
Light rain at the top of mount Fuji Hokusai: from November 22 to January 15
Sudden downpour on Shin-Ohashi and Atake bridge Hiroshige: January 16 to March 7

Each of these 3 remarkable prints is matched by 3 original creations in immersive projection.

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