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Caravaggio: Art that has been through the wars

May 17, 2016

Caravaggio: Art that has been through the wars

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“In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? ...

The many portraits of an artist as a young, and older, man

May 17, 2016

The many portraits of an artist as a young, and older, man

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As photographer Yasumasa Morimura has predominantly made his name since 1985 in eccentric self-portraiture involving impersonations of famous people, his current exhibition is conceptually and structurally all autobiography. It is a tale serially told through chapters with a beginning, middle-stage developments and a seemingly ...

The Medici loved trinkets of power

May 10, 2016

The Medici loved trinkets of power

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For over three centuries the Medici family dominated Renaissance Florence and much of its economic, political and cultural life. In the arts, the wealthy family is largely remembered for its patronage of painting, sculpture and grand architecture, but a new exhibition at the Tokyo ...

Ito Jakuchu: Quite the rare bird

May 10, 2016

Ito Jakuchu: Quite the rare bird

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The best time to see Ito Jakuchu’s work was back in 2000 or 2006, when there were two major exhibitions that aimed to re-evaluate the underappreciated 18th-century Kyoto painter. Now that re-evaluation has picked up plenty of steam we are currently experiencing a powerful ...

The Korean roots beneath Japan's folk art movement

May 3, 2016

The Korean roots beneath Japan's folk art movement

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The folk craft movement in Japan owes a great debt to Soetsu Yanagi (1889-1961), who coined the term “mingei” (“folk crafts”) in 1925. Yanagi pioneered the notion that Japan’s vernacular crafts had their own intrinsic artistic worth, and should be valued, collected and curated. ...

Hakuin's picture of Zen Buddhism

May 3, 2016

Hakuin's picture of Zen Buddhism

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Zen, traced to the ancient teachings of the Buddha Shakyamuni, took root in China via India around 1,500 years ago through the first Zen patriarch, Bodhidharma. Spread there by the priest Linji Yixuan (Rinzai Gigen, died 867), it was transmitted to Japan in the ...

Akiyama remodels the canon of clay

Apr 19, 2016

Akiyama remodels the canon of clay

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Artist Yo Akiyama has never been one to play by the rules. As a young student in the ceramics program at Kyoto City University of the Arts (Kyoto Geidai) in the mid-1970s, he quickly earned a reputation as a troublemaker, never content to accept ...

Kyoto's photographic slice of life

Apr 19, 2016

Kyoto's photographic slice of life

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Kyotographie is growing up. The international photography festival, which runs for a month at various stunning venues throughout Kyoto, is in its fourth year. So far there have been no signs of growing pains, even if the Kyotographie team members appear a little exhausted ...

'Caravaggio' masterpiece found in French attic

Apr 13, 2016

'Caravaggio' masterpiece found in French attic

A painting discovered in the attic of a house in France is an “authentic” work by Italian Renaissance master Caravaggio that could be worth up to 120 million euros, two experts said Tuesday. But others still have doubts over the spectacular canvas. The owners ...