Tag Archives: Videos Tours

Top Exhibition Tour: 19th Century Japanese Painter Kawanabe Kyōsai, London

The Japanese painter Kawanabe Kyōsai (1831–1889) was one of the most innovative artists of his day. He lived during a turbulent time, experiencing the downfall of the Tokugawa shogunate (the hereditary military government) and the new imperial regime’s reforms to modernise and Westernise the country. Kyōsai’s drive to capture the world with his brush earned him the nickname ‘demon of painting’ – which he lived by.

00:00 Room 1: From Tradition to Innovation

Kyōsai, as a highly trained painter, was proficient in traditional methods and subjects. He broke with convention by blurring the established boundary between ‘serious’ and comic pictures. Traditionally, complex painting techniques were reserved for literary classics, historical and legendary figures, auspicious themes and religious images. Comic pictures were typically produced in a lighter, more fluid style.

Kyōsai often saw humour in ‘serious’ subjects and introduced comic and everyday content in highly finished, detailed paintings. The selection in this room demonstrates Kyōsai’s range and skill across diverse genres. Subjects include animals, monsters, ghosts, protective deities and Buddhist icons. Some paintings display powerful Kano-style ink techniques, others depict humorous creatures – recalling works by his first teacher, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, and referencing medieval picture scrolls. He can be seen exploring Western techniques such as perspective, shading and the study of anatomy, which attests to his insatiable curiosity and desire to push beyond tradition.

04:17 Room 2: Laughing at Modernity

Kyōsai had a keen interest in society, and captured contemporary events in his pictures with humour and piquancy. His satirical prints from the 1860s, the period leading up to the collapse of the shogunate regime, reflect widespread anxiety about the political turmoil, economic instability and foreign presence. He channelled the febrile atmosphere into dynamic images of frog battles, monster parties and wildly dancing tengu (mischievous, semi-human creatures). Under the new Meiji government, the sudden influx of Western-style culture greatly shocked many Japanese, after over 260 years of relative isolation.

Kyōsai’s comic pictures express both the excitement of the new era, with modern technologies such as the telegraph and trains, and a certain scepticism towards those who blindly followed the new trends. The government’s policy of hiring European and American specialists to teach at new institutions in Japan brought the painter a personal benefit. The British architect Josiah Conder (1852–1920) became his pupil around 1881, and remained a student, patron and friend until Kyōsai’s death in 1889.

05:54 Room 3: The Artist Meets His Public

In nineteenth-century Japan, artists often produced works impromptu in front of an audience. The creative process was appreciated as a performance. At commercially organised calligraphy and painting parties called shogakai, attendees would pay for admission, and once inside, could ask the artists to create works for them at no extra charge. These gatherings were frequently a platform for collaboration. Multiple painters would complete a picture together or a calligrapher would inscribe a poem by the painter’s work. Kyōsai often depicted a scene of art viewing, and the artworks within the image would be painted by other artists.

Collaboration has always been an important part of the creative process in Japan, among artist friends or between teacher and pupils, sharing and marking the occasion. Event flyers, newspaper articles and anecdotes attest that Kyōsai was famous for his speedy, skilful and witty performances. The parties involved copious alcohol. Kyōsai loved saké and his brush became even more playful and expressive when intoxicated. Josiah Conder wrote in his master’s obituary: ‘under the influence of BACCHUS some of his strangest fancies, freshest conceptions and boldest touches were inspired.’

Exhibition Tours: Musée National Picasso-Paris

This exhibition celebrates the addition of nine masterpieces to the French national collections – six paintings, two sculptures and a sketchbook – via the country’s gifts-in-lieu scheme, which was introduced on 31 December 1968, allowing inheritance tax to be paid in kind. This unique acquisition mode is key to the very identity of Musée Picasso, which was founded in 1979 specifically to house the donation made by Pablo Picasso under this system.

Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist and theatre designer who spent most of his adult life in France.

Architecture: Hopetoun In Melbourne, Australia

A solid concrete dwelling, The Hopetoun is a luxury super house, complete with a tennis court and sleek garage. Meticulously designed by FGR Architects, the new build combines architecture, lighting and textural detail to reveal internal spaces of surprising delicacy.

Video Timeline: 00:27 – Entering the Super House 01:21 – Minimalist Architecture 01:57 – Connection Between Spaces 02:19 – Positioning the House 02:59 – Lighting in the House 03:40 – Concrete Architecture 04:37 – Utilising Stone and Timber 04:54 – Breaking Tradition

Located in the leafy Melbourne suburb of Toorak, The Hopetoun is a super house designed to accommodate a large family. Situated on the corner of a road, the house is crafted to dramatically embrace the breadth of its site, presenting a broad and expansive façade to the street. A house tour of the property sheds light on the layout of the super house, carefully planned by the architect.

FGR Architects configures the home to maximise solar penetration via the northern aspect, fitting the sunlit side of the house with ample glazing and arranging the internal spaces to reflect the need for natural light. Whilst the southern orientation houses utilities and services, the northern counterpart is occupied by the most frequently habited rooms. A sculptural set of stairs forms the highlight of the interior design. FGR Architects uses lighting to express the structural prowess of the concrete super house, including the implemented overhangs within the architecture.

The delicate interaction between the undulating texture of the concrete walls and the warm wash of artificial light presents lighting almost as a material in itself, equal amongst the concrete, glass, stone and timber. Utilising the refined nature of concrete in relation to light, FGR Architects is able to create a sophisticated super house that possesses the robust material character to age elegantly through time. 00:00 – Introduction to the Super House

Museum Tour: ‘Van Gogh And The Olive Groves’ (4K)

‘Van Gogh and the Olive Groves’ (11 March 2022 – 12 June 2022).

Van Gogh made fifteen paintings of olive groves, constantly experimenting with various approaches. Fascinated by the gnarly shapes of the olive trees and their ever-changing colours, he painted them over and over. He painted at different times of the day and used colours inspired by the season. Vincent himself considered his paintings of olive trees to number amongst the best he had made in the South of France.

This exhibition reunites Van Gogh’s paintings of olive groves and exhibits them together for the first time, thanks to unique loans from museums in Europe and the United States.

Museum Exhibit Tours: Jacques Louis David – ‘Radical Draftsman’

Join Perrin Stein, Curator, in the Department of Drawings and Prints, for a virtual tour of Jacques Louis David: Radical Draftsman, the first exhibition devoted to works on paper by the celebrated French artist.

David navigated vast artistic and political divides throughout his life—from his birth in Paris in 1748 to his death in exile in Brussels in 1825—and his iconic works captured the aspirations and suffering of a nation, while addressing timeless themes that continue to resonate today. Through the lens of his preparatory studies, the exhibition looks beyond his public successes to chart the moments of inspiration and the progress of ideas.

Visitors will follow the artist’s process as he gave form to the neoclassical style and created major canvases that shaped the public’s perceptions of historical events in the years before, during, and after the French Revolution. Organized chronologically, the exhibition will feature more than eighty drawings and oil sketches—including rarely loaned or newly discovered works—drawn from the collections of The Met and dozens of institutional and private lenders.

Learn more about the exhibition: https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions…

FINE ARTS: 4K VIDEO TOUR – THE VAN GOGH MUSEUM “ARTISTIC EXCHANGE”

Van Gogh Museum Tour in 4K. Have you always wanted to be alone in the Van Gogh Museum? Step into Vincent’s world and enjoy the private video tour.

Episode 5: Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam