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[Prints and Drawings Exhibition]
Examining Western Prints – Engraving: Intricate Realms Conjured by the Burin

Tuesday, 19 June 2018 – Monday, 24 September 2018
9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Fridays, Saturdays 9:30 am – 9:00 pm
Admission ends 30 mins. before closing time
Mondays except 16 July, 13 August, 17 September and 24 September 2018.
Closed on 17 July 2018.
Prints and Drawings Gallery, New Wing
Organized by:
The National Museum of Western Art
Admission Fees:
Adults 500 yen (400 yen), College students 250 yen (200 yen)
Numbers in parentheses indicate discount fees for groups of 20 or more.
Admission is free for Special Exhibition or Permanent Collection ticket holders.
Visitors aged 18 and under or 65 and older are admitted free of charge. Please show your ID upon entrance to confirm your age.
Disabled visitors admitted free of charge, with one attendant. Please present your disability identification upon arrival.

The NMWA offers scholars opportunities to directly examine print works outside of their frames or cases. This exhibition experiments with a new way of introducing prints from the NMWA collection by combining artwork normal display methods with a section devoted to the printmaking process, direct examination of prints, and creative programs. This two-section display presents works produced in the printing method known as engraving primarily from the 15th to 17th centuries.

Section I considers the theme of "fate" as seen in 15th to 17th century engravings that employ various expressive means. Some of the works depict personifications of fate, while others reflect on the fact that no one can avoid the consequences of fate. Yet others take a fatalistic stance about the conclusions brought about by foolish actions. This selection allows us to consider how the people of that time thought about fate.

Section II focuses on the engraving techniques used in these artworks, exploring the material quality of these prints brought about by engraving's unique use of accumulations of lines. Engraving was one of the first techniques used as printing developed in the West. An artist engraves each individual line into a copperplate surface with a chisel-like tool called a burin. The method itself, carving lines into a plate, is simple, but in fact it requires immense amounts of skill and time. Here we present modern examples of engraving tools and methods, providing visitors with a chance to put themselves in the place of the artists, seeing what they expressed, feeling the power of the work from their standpoint.

The Section II galleries will also be the venue for participatory programs, with direct examination of NMWA collection works and creative programs available to school teachers. (These programs are conducted in Japanese only. Click here for details.) *

We hope that you will enjoy this opportunity to explore engravings and the realms they weave out of deep, sharp-cut lines.

*The exhibit space of Section II will be closed to the general public for the program mentioned above, on July 25, 26, August 13 and 14. We appreciate your understanding.

The Battle about Money

Pieter van der Heyden after Pieter Bruegel the Elder
The Battle about Money
after 1570
The National Museum of Western Art

The Vision of Ezekiel

Giorgio Ghisi, after Giovanni Battista Bertani
The Vision of Ezekiel
The National Museum of Western Art

Exhibition Checklist (PDF file, about 51KB)


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