Tokyo Notebook

-・- From My Everyday Life to Japanese Culture -・- Why don't you see the real Japan, not the typical foreigners' version.

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11 2011

Barbizon, Yamanashi


“The Sower (種まく人, 1850)” is one of the most well known of Millet's paintings, along with The Angelus (晩鐘1857–59, Musée d'Orsay, Paris) and The Gleaners (落穂拾い, 1857 , Musée d'Orsay, Paris). Jean-François Millet (1814 – 1875), a French painter who founded of “Barbizon school (バルビゾン派)“ with fellow painters, drew two The Sower that were the same in size and composition, and sent one of them to an exhibition.

One The Sower is now in Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art in Kofu, the capital city of Yamanashi Prefecture that’s 100 km to the east of Tokyo. I visited to Kofu from last Wednesday to Thursday, and stopped at the museum that’s a 15-minute bus ride away from Kofu Station.

Millet2 Millet3

Arts from the mid-19th to the former part of 20th century (e.g. impressionist school, Barbizon school, art nouveau, deco) are quite popular among Japanese, and Millet's paintings are familiar for us. I myself saw his works at museums including Musée d'Orsay and Louvre, and made a stop at Maison de Millet when I visited to Barbizon Village de Peintres. But I'm ashamed to say I hadn’t known The Sower in Yamanashi, Japan.

I’d say Yamanashi Prefectural Museum is a place worth visiting if you are interested in 19th-century paintings. The museum is able to focus on the theme of Barbizon school because of the great piece of writing, and houses other Barbizon painters’ works (Corot, Théodore Rousseau, Dupré, Daubigny, Troyonaubigny, and Diaz) around Millet.

These are collection of the museum.

I spent little more than an hour to appreciate the painters’ works and thought about Barbizon Village at the moderately small museum.

For your information, the other The Sower is in Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

An art workshop for elementary school kids was held during my visit.



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