Exhibition/event has ended.

Another 19th Century: Bouguereau, Millais, and the Academic Painters

National Museum Of Western Art, Tokyo


William Adolphe Bouguereau, John Everett Millais, William Adolphe Bouguereau, Raphaël Collin, Jean-Jacques Henner et al.
If the topic is “French and British art of the second half of the 19th century,” what kind of paintings come to mind? For many, it would be the products of French Realism and Impressionism or, in the case of Britain, the works of the Pre-Raphaelites and the Aesthetic Movement. Nevertheless, there were always academic painters in the background of these innovative art movements, and the painters who followed them are now thought of as the shapers and definers of their era.

Satisfied with the central position in the art world of the academy—the French art academy founded in 1648 as the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture and Britain’s Royal Academy of Arts, founded in 1768, in this case—and ever respectful of the classicist style, those artists, occupied the mainstream and embodied the accepted norms of their profession.

In the late 19th century, however, the art academy’s authority and traditions were shaken by the rapid modernization of society. For instance, the established hierarchy of painting genres that placed history painting at the top gradually lost relevance, and the boundaries between genres became increasingly blurred. Those painters who adhered to the academy could not be indifferent to the changing times and the emergence of alternative schools of painting. Therefore, in this transformative era, they adopted fresh subject matter to pass on their traditions and accomplishments to later generations. They changed their styles and mediums to meet the new demands while remaining faithful to the academy. By tracing the careers of academic painters from both countries and focusing on the different subjects, motifs, and models seen in their works, this exhibition aims to highlight the flexibility and strategizing that enabled them to keep alive “another 19th century.”


Sep 19 (Tue) 2023-Feb 12 (Mon) 2024 

Opening Hours Information

Closes at 20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays.
Open on October 9, January 8 and February 12.
Closed on October 10, December 28 to January 1 and January 9.
FeeAdults ¥500; University Students ¥250; High School Students and Under, Seniors 65 & Over, Persons with Disability Certificates + 1 Companion free
VenueNational Museum Of Western Art, Tokyo
Location7-7 Ueno-Koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0007
Access1 minute walk from the Koen exit of JR Ueno Station, 7 minute walk from the Main exit of Keisei Ueno Station on the Keisei line.
Phone050-5541-8600 (Hello Dial)
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