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パリ♥グラフィック ― ロートレックとアートになった版画・ポスター展

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三菱一号館美術館

本展の見どころ

With the rise of various art movements in late 19th century Paris, printmaking became the latest medium for artists to widen the potential of expression. Until that time, prints were just for transmitting information or a means of reproduction, but Toulouse Lautrec and other avant-garde artists at the end of the century elevated print to the level of art, with their work being collected by emerging art lovers. At the same time, mass culture was developing and with this printed art, the city was filled with replicated images as never before with art permeating the lives of ordinary people.

In Paris at the end of the century, "graphic art" was precisely the nodal point of life and art, so it can be said that it was a medium reflecting the era best demonstrating the experimental spirit of avant-garde artists. This exhibition focuses on a wide range of late 19th century prints from Paris. Approximately 170 works including lithographs and posters, as well as oil paintings and illustration books will be exhibited, selected from the valuable late 19th century collection housed by the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum and the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

3つの見どころ

1.	The Origin of graphic art – state-of-the-art media and prints causing a revolution in artistic expression

In Paris at the end of the 19th century, developments were made in techniques to create prints that, up until that time, were just for transmitting information or a means of reproduction, and artists like Toulouse Lautrec, Pierre Bonnard and Édouard Vuillard became engrossed in the latest medium to widen the potential of expression. These artists produced beautiful works, particularly lithographs, using their own drawings and a range of colours, elevating prints to the level of art and created the origin of 20th century graphic art.

2. From Elite to the Street: midway between art and life

At the same time as the emergence of art lovers who collected the beautiful prints as works of art, at the end of the 19th century, there was a flowering of mass culture with spending, amusement and pleasure. The world was filled with images as never before in the form of posters on the streets and in theatres, and illustrations in books, and a wide range of people came to enjoy art on a daily basis.

3. The world’s largest collection of late 19th century prints, proudly brought together by the Van Gogh Museum and the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum

This exhibition is jointly planned by the Van Gogh Museum which boasts the world’s largest collection of late 19th century prints, and the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum which houses a collection of lithographs and posters by Toulouse-Lautrec. This exhibit will bring together selected, superbly preserved works of graphic art, by Toulouse-Lautrec and other representative artists of the late 19th century.

Message from Director

The Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum is holding this exhibition jointly with the Van Gogh Museum (which already held the exhibition from 3 March to 17 June 2017). The exhibition highlights the graphic art of end of the century Paris (printed art – posters and prints)

Up until the 19th century, the content and form of many types of art had been grand and heavy as the basis of Western art, but then art rapidly became more lightweight. So art on a surface, or painting, could be easily reduced, enlarged, and duplicated many times as an image on paper using lithography invented at the end of the 18th century. In this way, it came to be in the hands of many people. Then in the 19th century, expressive printing techniques evolved rapidly, and from the 1880's, graphic art established itself as a unique creative art itself.

In a similar joint effort as when it held the 2014 "Valloton – Fire Beneath the Ice" exhibition in cooperation with the Musée d'Orsay Museum, Paris, the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, with its important collection of works by Toulouse Lautrec and Les Nabis, is once again establishing a close collaboration this time with the Van Gogh Museum which houses a stunning collection of graphic works of this era. While making full use of the characteristics of the collection works of both museums, the exhibition puts clear focus on two aspects – the elaborate and high-quality works responding to the requests of discerning art lovers and collectors at the end of the century, and the posters and pamphlets that graced Paris street corners, theaters, and cabarets with increasing commercial acceptance. We hope you will enjoy this ambitious exhibition that shines a new light on the development of posters and printed art in the late 19th century.

Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo
Akiya Takahashi, Director


Lautrec’s achievements and Joyant Collection

Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) was born into nobility in Albi, Southern France, and became one of the best known painters of late 19th century France, depicting with his sharp observations the inhabitants of Paris, such as those from clubs and the entertainment district of Montmartre. In fact, the true heart of his work were the posters and prints, which her created with outstanding drawings, vivid colors, innovative compositions, using new techniques to elevate the printed poster into an art, resulting in a huge influence on graphic art in the 20th century.
The Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum houses a collection of around 250 graphic art prints, which had been kept in Lautrec’s studio during his lifetime, and which were taken over by Maurice Joyant, who was Lautrec’s close friend, and who had also taken over the gallery of van Gogh's younger brother, Theo. In addition to major works of preserved lithographs and posters, there are many valuable pieces of works such as trial prints that did not appear on the market, that reveal the artist's production process.

The Englishman at the Moulin Rouge.

A scene of a gentleman chatting up the ladies in a dancehall. Lautrec made many prints in producing this work. We can compare the reddish purple color of the regular edition with the light blue version printed on only a few sheets, showing Lautrec’s experimental process for colour. The latter blue version is a very rare trial print that is not even in the catalogue raisonné.

(Left)Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec The Englishman at the Moulin Rouge colour lithograph Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo
(Right)Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec The Englishman at the Moulin Rouge colour lithograph Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo


Paris in the Belle Époque, late 19th century

In the mid-19th century, Baron Haussmann, prefect of the Seine Department of France, carried out a major reconstruction of Paris which had been unable to deal with an explosive population increase accompanying industrialization. As Paris transformed into a modern city, the city centre slums were swept away, and many working class folk settled in districts where rent was cheap. One of these districts was Montmartre, set on a hill on the outer edge of the city, and here with the inhabitants, an entertainment district emerged with café concert, cabarets and dancehalls. It was here that the "Moulin Rouge" famously opened in 1889, and Montmartre became popular as Paris' largest decadent entertainment district.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Poster for the Cafe-Concert Le Divan Japonais colour lithograph Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo


Artists engrossed in lithography

Lithography was developed at the end of the 18th century as a printmaking technique that uses the repelling nature of oil and water to create flat prints. In the 19th century, this technique could be used just as freely as drawing on paper, and caught the attention of many artists such as Lautrec, the Impressionists and Les Nabis, as a state-of-the-art medium of expression

(Left)Pierre Bonnard The Little Laundress, from the album L’Album des peintres-graveurs colour lithograph Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
(Right)Maurice Denis Cover for the album Amour colour lithograph Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo

(Left)Odilon Redon Profile of Light lithograph Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
(Right)Eugene Grasset The Print and the Poster, poster for the journal L’Estampe et l’affiche colour lithograph and photomechanical print Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

(Left)Jozsef Rippl-Ronai The Village Fair, from the album L’Album des peintres-graveurs colour lithograph Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
(Right)Pierre Bonnard Poster for the brand France-Champagne colour lithograph Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (State of the Netherlands)


Prints as collectors’ items

At the end of the 19th century, the prints became popular as posters and others, and active attempts were made to increase the value of the prints as works of art.
The avant-garde artists competed to explore experimental expressions of the prints and impressions, thereby gaining recognition of the unique value of prints as opposed to paintings. It was also during this era that ambitious art dealers worked on the publication of a printmaking collection. As a result, a printmaker specializing in prints of works by avant-garde artists appeared in Paris. For collectors, gorgeous versions of prints and one-off works were put on sale, but even the theater posters from the streets turned into collectors’ items, ramping up the enthusiasm for collection.

(Left)enri de Toulouse-Lautrec Moulin Rouge, La Goulue colour lithograph Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo
(Right)Pierre Bonnard Poster for the brand France-Champagne colour lithograph Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (State of the Netherlands)

Maurice Denis Poster for the newspaper La Depeche de Toulouse colour lithograph Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

◆◆ Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec “La Loïe Fuller”

Fascinated by the dancer Loïe Fuller who gained popularity with her "Fire Dance" making use of sweeping long sleeves, Lautrec drew her in her stage performance making use of the effects of spot lights. This elaborate lithograph using gold dust and silver powder on each piece makes this unique, going beyond the expression of reproduction art.

(Left)Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Miss Loie Fuller colour lithograph Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo
(Right)Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Miss Loie Fuller colour lithograph Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo

◆Felix Vallotton “Intimités”

One of Les Nabis, Vallotton a series of ten interiors which deal with tension between men and women with a cynical eye. One of the highlights is the innovative design of the woodcut expressed only in black and white. There were only 30 copies made of this series, with Vallotton destroying the woodblock to increase their rarity.

Felix Vallotton Money, from the series Intimites woodcut Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo

◆Pierre Bonnard “Parallèlement”

At the request of the Ambroise Vollard, the Les Nabis artist Bonnard, added 109 illustrations to the poetry of Paul Marie Verlaine. This collection of illustrated poetry with an exquisite balance calculated between the text and margin is considered one of the masterpieces of 19th century illustrated books merging literature and images.

Pierre Bonnard Artists’ book Parallelement by Paul Verlaine lithograph, woodcut and letterpress printing Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo