Kokuritsu Seiyo Bijutsukan -The National Museum of Western Art

The National Museum of Western Art

World-class architecture and world-class Western art

The National Museum of Western Art, located in Tokyo, japan, is a prestigious institution that houses an impressive collection of Western art. Designed by renowned French architect Le Corbusier, the museum is not only a showcase for classic Western art, but also a center for Japonisme, which refers to the interpretations of Japanese art by Western artists.

The main building of the museum, designed by Le Corbusier, is a masterpiece of modern architecture. With its clean lines, geometric forms, and innovative use of materials, the building stands as a testament to Le Corbusier’s skill and vision. Inside the museum, visitors can admire a wide range of Western art, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts.

One of the highlights of the museum’s collection is the numerous pieces by the famous French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Rodin is considered one of the greatest sculptors of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and his works are known for their emotional intensity and realistic portrayal of the human form. The museum’s collection includes several iconic Rodin sculptures, such as “The Thinker” and “Gates of Hell.”

Another significant part of the museum’s collection is The Matsukata Collection. This collection was assembled by Kojiro Matsukata, a businessman and art enthusiast, over a period of 10 years. Matsukata acquired over 10,000 works of art, mainly from Europe. However, after World War II, the collection was seized by France and only returned to Japan in 1959. The Matsukata Collection is a valuable treasure that reflects the taste and passion of its collector.

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In addition to its impressive collection, The National Museum of Western Art is also known for its architectural significance. In 2016, the museum was designated as Tokyo’s first World Cultural Heritage site and the country’s 20th UNESCO site. This recognition is due to the museum’s design by Le Corbusier, who is considered one of the most influential architects of the 20th century. Le Corbusier’s design principles, such as the use of floor-to-ceiling windows and varying ceiling heights, are evident in the museum’s structure. These design elements create a sense of spaciousness and intimacy, enhancing the visitor’s experience.

To visit The National Museum of Western Art, one can easily reach it from Ueno Station. The museum is just a one-minute walk from Ueno Station’s Park Exit if arriving by the JR Yamanote Line. If arriving via the Keisei Line, it’s a seven-minute walk from Keisei Ueno Station. Visitors coming from the Tokyo Metro Ginza or Hibiya subway lines can reach the museum by an eight-minute walk from Ueno Station.

After exploring the museum, visitors can further explore the Ueno Park area, which is home to other museums, such as the Tokyo National Museum and the National Museum of Nature and Science. Ueno Park is also known for its beautiful shrines and temples, including Nezu-jinja Shrine and Ueno Toshogu Shrine. For those looking for tasty food and bargain shopping, a visit to Ameyoko, a bustling market street, is highly recommended.

In conclusion, The National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo is a must-visit for art enthusiasts and architecture lovers alike. With its world-class collection and stunning architectural design, the museum offers a unique and enriching experience. Whether it’s admiring the works of masters like Rodin and Monet or appreciating the genius of Le Corbusier’s design, a visit to this museum is sure to leave a lasting impression.

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Address And Maps Location:

7-7 Uenokoen, Taito-ku, Tokyo-to

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