“ KIMONO - Reflections of art between Japan and the West ” is the title of the new exhibition organized by the Textile Museum of Prato which has obtained the prestigious patronage of the Japanese Embassy in Italy, running from 29 April until 19 November 2023.
The exhibition explores the creative and cultural contaminations - which took place between Europe and Japan mainly from the end of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th - through the display of a careful selection of works which bear witness to the fundamental passages of those reciprocal influences.
Alongside the well-known phenomenon of Japonism, i.e. the way in which European art of that period received and reinterpreted the expressive and decorative language of Japanese art, the exhibition itinerary focuses above all on illustrating the opposite process, defined by some as Occidentalism , in which even the most iconic object of the culture of the Rising Sun, the kimono, is influenced by Western culture and figurative art.
On display are a series of paintings, woodcuts, vintage postcards, prints and fabrics from both important private collections and unpublished Museum collections, but above all the fifty male and female kimonos belonging to the exclusive private collection of Lydia Manavello, all datable from the first and second quarter of the twentieth century, made of woven, embroidered or printed silk. This extraordinary exhibition of works testifies with variety and liveliness to the extraordinary artistic and stylistic contaminations that occurred in those decades between East and West, with particular reference to the formal innovations of the European avant-gardes such as Futurism, Secession and Cubism which, at the beginning of the twentieth century, profoundly changed the traditional Japanese decorative language.