There are many ways in which an art exhibition can make a positive impression, but the two main ones are through the quality of the artworks and the narrative that ties these together. The present exhibition at Bunkamura The Museum is rather weak on the first element but much stronger on the second.

The title — "The Genesis and Development of Landscape Painting from Kunsthistoriches Museum Wien" — is ambitious and raises expectations of seeing works by some of the great landscape artists, but big names are in relatively short supply at this exhibition, with most of the paintings by lesser known, unknown or even anonymous artists. This is partly because the exhibition's focus is on the gradual evolution of the genre of landscape painting rather than its fully formed expression. But also, one can't help suspecting that it is because the Kunsthistoriches Museum was only prepared to send its B-team on this artistic odyssey, a long way from Vienna.

Despite this shortcoming, the exhibition still manages to be highly informative and enjoyable. It begins with the premise that what seems obvious to us today — the charm and beauty of landscape painting — was not obvious to earlier generations. Instead it had to slowly evolve out of other aspects of culture, such as religious painting, seasonal calendars and the revival of classical pastoral poetry.