MAO - Museo d’Arte Orientale verified

Torino, Piemonte, IT closed Visit museumarrow_right_alt

closed The emperor flowers

The show

The program of rotations that the MAO Museo d'Arte Orientale carries out periodically for the correct conservation of the most delicate works includes, after an absence of seven years, the display of a selection of refined Japanese lacquers from the seventeenth century to the early twentieth century. Inside a special case in the gallery of Japan, there will be four lacquered boxes bearing the symbols of the imperial family, the sixteen-petal chrysanthemum and paulownia.

The art of lacquering, imported to Japan from continental Asia, reached its highest technical and expressive levels in the Edo period (1603-1868). This technique consists in coating the surfaces of containers and utensils with colored, transparent or opaque lacquers, often enriched with powders and metal foils or other materials (especially mother of pearl), which give the product effects of precious and compact brilliance.

Among the lacquers exhibited during the rotation, the most valuable piece is a ryoshibako decorated with plant motifs, a box for paper and documents from the Edo period (second half of the 17th century) in lacquered wood with the addition of metal powders applied according to the maki technique -e, which reveals the great mastery achieved by the Japanese artisans of the time. On the background of black lacquer, round corollas of chrysanthemums (kiku) stand out in the foreground alternating with leaves and small flowers of paulownia (kiri), according to the typical Kodaiji style. In the background, to enrich the drawing, some groupings of autumn herbs and flowers. According to traditional iconography, the chrysanthemum and paulownia are associated with the figures of the emperor and the empress and are rich in symbolic meanings: according to legend, the paulownia tree is also linked to the phoenix of Far Eastern tradition, which it would settle only on its branches.

Works on display

Timetable and tickets


Via San Domenico, 9-11
10100 Torino


More planned

date_range MAO - Museo d’Arte Orientale MAO - Museo d’Arte Orientale

The Great Void

Until 04 September 2022

Other exhibitions in Torino

last days date_range MUSLI - Museo della Scuola e del Libro per l'infanzia
last days date_range CAMERA - Centro Italiano per la Fotografia
last days date_range Musei Reali Torino


Until 26 June 2022

date_range Fondazione 107


Until 10 July 2022

You don't know about Artsupp yet?

Artsupp is the new museum portal that was born to bring together all the highlights from the world of art and Italian museums on a single platform.

About us