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TOKYO

“Communication: Visualizing the Human Connection in the Age of Vermeer”

The Museum, Bunkamura

by Yuhei Wada

Staff Writer

During the 17th-century, Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer became renowned for his outstanding compositional and lighting skills. Under the theme of “letters,” this exhibition features the work of Vermeer alongside that of other contemporaneous painters.

There are only around 30 known surviving works by Vermeer, three of which — “Woman in Blue Reading a Letter ” “A Lady Writing a Letter” and “Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid” — are being shown for the first time in Japan at this exhibition. Letters were an important form of communication and therefore became a subject that artists often used to portray relationships. Through such paintings, which are rich in allegory, metaphor and symbolism, the show explores how letter-writing was one of few personal forms of expression; from Dec. 23 till Mar. 14.

The Museum, Bunkamura; (03) 5777-8600; 2-24-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku; 7-min. walk from Shibuya Station, JR Yamanote Line, Tokyu Toyoko Line, Ginza Line and Inokashira Line. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. ¥1,500. Closed on Jan. 1, 2012. www.bunkamura.co.jp/museum.