Visiting Mucha’s Slav Epic Exhibition, Tokyo.

Posted By yonghow on July 14th, 2017

Visiting Mucha's Slav Epic Exhibition, Tokyo.

The top itinerary item of my recent trip to Japan was to attend Alphonse Mucha’s exhibition held at the National Art Center in Roppongi, Tokyo. Mucha is one of my fav artist/painters of all times ( besides J.W Waterhouse ) and while I’ve actually attended two of his exhibitions in Tokyo before, this one was unique as the works on display are Mucha’s magnum opus, the spectacular Slav Epic; and they have never once left the Czech Republic…until now.

Visiting Mucha's Slav Epic Exhibition, Tokyo.
Visiting Mucha's Slav Epic Exhibition, Tokyo.

We had expectations of a huge turn out at the exhibition, but were totally unprepared for what we saw when we arrived at the museum – a massive crowd and line that snaked all around the building. The last time I was in such a long line was years back during Takehiko Inoue’s LAST MANGA exhibition in Ueno.

This is actually one of the things I love about Japan ( not the long lines ); but the huge support and appreciation for the arts. In the end, it took us about an hour before we finally entered the exhibition.

Visiting Mucha's Slav Epic Exhibition, Tokyo.
Visiting Mucha's Slav Epic Exhibition, Tokyo.
Visiting Mucha's Slav Epic Exhibition, Tokyo.
Visiting Mucha's Slav Epic Exhibition, Tokyo.
Visiting Mucha's Slav Epic Exhibition, Tokyo.

Photography was allowed only in the last section of the exhibition, and as you can see by the scale of the paintings how impressive they are. The sizes are comparable to some of the biggest paintings I saw in the Louvre, like Gericault’s Raft Of The Medusa.

Visiting Mucha's Slav Epic Exhibition, Tokyo.
Visiting Mucha's Slav Epic Exhibition, Tokyo.
Visiting Mucha's Slav Epic Exhibition, Tokyo.

You’ll think that Mucha would sacrifice detail at the expense of size in these paintings, but look at this small section of one the paintings ( image above ) and you’ll be mistaken; the rendering is still incredibly detailed.

Visiting Mucha's Slav Epic Exhibition, Tokyo.

I had to purchase the catalogue for the exhibition of course (image above). This is also available for purchase on Amazon Japan; I’ll post a review of the book at a later time.

Mucha's Slav Epic Catalogue Amazon Buy Link
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6 Responses to “Visiting Mucha’s Slav Epic Exhibition, Tokyo.”

Star

This is beautiful! When it comes to fine arts I used to imagine more of those well-known, orthodox? artists like Gogh or Cezanne; but his work looks like it was digitally processed only with the same amount of dedication (lol).

Josh

You were there on either the last day or one of the last days, no?

When I saw the previous Mucha exhibit at the Mori building in 2013, I foolishly went on the last weekend. The line to get in was about two and a half hours. Unbelievable.

I wasn’t as familiar with the Slav Epic but I’m glad I went….the scale is truly magnificent to see in person.

But that tiny space they had allotted for the gift shop…my god…I can only imagine the bedlam that must have been! I waited longer to buy the book than I did to get in to the exhibit! I know I could have got it off amazon but I was thinking “I’m already here….so…”

Anyway, I’m glad to see you made it to this and the Otomo Tribute exhibit. Did you check out the Marvel Age of Heroes as well?

nat

Wow!!! How many pages are in that book and what are the dimensions?!!!!!

Martin

Wish I was there. I’m sure I would’ve been floored.

yonghow

Star – Yeah Mucha’s style of painting was very ahead of his time, so fitting that he is the champion of Art Nouveau. :]

Josh – I was there on the last day alright, crowd was insane. The gift shop was swamped with people so I got my catalogue at the bookstore near the back entrance, there wasn’t a line all. I think they should have a dedicated counter selling just the catalogue.

I didn’t go to the Marvel exhibition, but I heard it was great. I just finished working on Spiderman and I needed a break from Marvel stuff ! 😛

nat – 252 pages, 29.7 x 21 x 2 cm. I’ll post a full review of the book soon. :]

Martin – I’m very sure you would have loved it. :]

DISTRAKT

Wow