Today I visited the Mori Arts Center Gallery in Roppongi to see artwork by Vermeer and Rembrandt, 17th century master artists who painted during a period now dubbed “the Dutch golden age”.
The gallery is situated in a building called Mori Art Museum Tokyo City View and is on the 52nd floor which the lift reaches in no time popping your ears as it silently whooshes its way up.
On arriving at the gallery entrance there were quite a few lines of people waiting to buy tickets, luckily my wife had bought my ticket online, and I was able to exchange my printout ticket for a real one in no time at all and get straight into the gallery.
Like most art gallery exhibitions, they offer an audio guide in Japanese which you can hire for 550 yen or 1000 yen for two. I personally prefer to study about the artist and their paintings before I go.
This exhibition was made up of about 60 pieces from the Metropolitan Museum of art in New York, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam and the National Gallery in London as well as from other art museum and private collectors.
The exhibit started not with Vermeer or Rembrandt, but with other artist of that period such as Kalf, De Hooch, Cuyp and Van Wieringen. All the paintings in the exhibition were brilliant, and I took my time, two hours in all, slowly looking at these masterpieces.
The exhibition was catagorized into various subjects such as Dutch landscapes, architecture, marine, still life, portraits, scenes from everyday life and rembrandt and his circle.
I was expecting to see more painting from Vermeer and Rembrandt, but I guess their artwork is in such high demand from art galleries throughout the world that an exhibition with many of their pieces would be imposed. That being said, the artwork from those other Dutch painters more than made up for it.
The main attraction from Vermeer was “Woman with a Water Jug”, also called “Young Woman with a Water Pitcher” by others, and from Rembrandt, Bellona. This is the first time these pieces have been shown in Japan, so it's the perfect opportunity for fans of theirs to see them.
As you exit the main gallery, there’s a gift shop selling various souvenirs of the artist’s work.
Being so high up on the 52nd floor, as you come out of the gallery exit you’re greeted with a spectacular panoramic view of the city.
The Roppongi Hills Tokyo City View building which houses the art gallery is an interesting building in and of itself, containing cafes and restaurants and most importantly an observation deck with breathtaking view of Tokyo.
There are many art galleries in Tokyo alone, and I'm happy to say, I've already got two more lined up, so let's see how they compare.
As an interesting aside, I heard that a few days before I visited the gallery, the son of the Japanese emperor had also visited!
The exhibition will last about ten weeks from January 14th to March 31st.
Tickets prices are 1600 yen for adults, students 1300 yen and children 600 yen.
Opening times are 10am to 8pm.
For more information check out http://www.roppongihills.com.e.nt.hp.transer.com/facilities/macg/.