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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Kyoto National Museum Treasures of the Hapsburg Monarchy

Kyoto  National Museum京都国立博物館ハプスブルク

The Kyoto National Museum, the wonderful Meiji Era brick pile across the street from Sanjusangendo and a high-end Hyatt Hotel, is currently showing a fantastic series of paintings and other items until March 14.

2010 marks the 140th anniversary of the establishment of relations between Japan and Austria-Hungary.

To celebrate this event, some 120 paintings and decorative art works from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna and the Szépmüvészati Múzeum in Budapest are on display.

These works were formerly owned by the Hapsburgs, who ruled much of Europe for over six hundred years.

They were in addition patrons of many painters, such as Durer, Velazquez, Rubens, Raphael, Titian, and Goya.

There is also an album of one hundred Japanese paintings and two lacquered shelves decorated with makie (sprinkled metal design) presented by Emperor Meiji (1852-1912) to Emperor Franz Joseph (1830-1916) as a token of their friendship.

The details are stunning. The birds and insects in particular are wonderful.

Treasures of the Hapsburg Monarchy
Until March 14
9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (Entrance Until 5:30 p.m.)
Fridays 9:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m. (Entrance Until 7:30 p.m.)
1500 yen for adults

Suggestion: Go towards the end of the day. You will have Durer and Rembrandt almost all to yourself.

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