RETURN FROM ASIA – Henri Cernuschi, a collector during the time of Japonism

From October 6, 2023 to February 4, 2024.

The exhibition invites visitors to follow in the footsteps of Henri Cernuschi, from his trip to the Far East until his return to Paris where he created one of the very first museums of Asian art.

This exhibition proposed on the occasion of the celebration of the 150rd anniversary of Henri Cernuschi's return from Asia invites us to discover, or rediscover, the itinerary of the traveler and collector whose innovative contribution made it possible to bring about in Europe the revolution of taste known as Japonism.

The discoveries and numerous acquisitions ofHenri Cernuschi (1821-1896) made throughout his journey from Japan, China, then Indonesia, Ceylon and India encouraged him to build one of the most important European collections of Asian art of his time and to found the museum which bears his name, whose influence continues to this day.

From 1871 to 1873, nearly 5000 works of art – bronzes, ceramics, paintings, prints, lacquered and carved wooden objects, photographs or illustrated books – sailed across the oceans to Paris. The Chinese and Japanese art objects that he collected immediately exerted considerable fascination on the artists and craftsmen of the time, and became models for an entire generation of creators in Europe.

At the same time, Cernuschi completed his work by creating a unique setting for his collection. Its museum, designed as a temple of Asian arts, became one of the highlights of Parisian Japonism...

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