"A Century of Portraiture: Renoir, Modigliani, Picasso and Other Artists from the Collection" Exhibition

Pola Museum of Art

poster for "A Century of Portraiture: Renoir, Modigliani, Picasso and Other Artists from the Collection" Exhibition

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Portraiture has been a key subject of painting and sculpture since ancient times. Figures of authority have long sought to project their power by imprinting their images on monuments and coins. Carved tombstones encourage us to remember the dead by creating likenesses of them in real life. Moreover, portrait painting has preserved countless representations of royal and aristocratic figures throughout history.

The 19th century saw a wealth of portraits painted. Most of the portraiture served to express the social status of its middle and upper class models. However, for Impressionist painters like Pierre Auguste Renoir, making portraits of the people around them was a means to demonstrate the contemporaneity of their art. With the advent of photography and its ability to reflect unvarnished reality, portraiture opened up to include a greater variety of forms to express the figure and an interest in the emotional state of the sitter. Amedeo Modigliani and other artists of the Ecole de Paris sought new types of models, and their explorations into human interiority lead to the birth of innovative styles of painting. Later, using portrait painting to experiment with the plasticity of form, the 20th century master Pablo Picasso created many diverse works.

Through paintings from our collection by artists such as Renoir, Modigliani and Picasso, and works of academic painting and photographic portraiture on generous loan from other Japanese museums, "A Century of Portraiture - Renoir, Modigliani, Picasso and Other Artists from the Collection" will explore the ways in which artists of the 19th and 20th centuries viewed and represented the people around them.

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From 2009-03-14 To 2009-09-06

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