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About the exhibition
The marvellous spaces of the Royal dwelling in Monza host an ideal journey into Japan’s traditional arts thanks to a rich selection of works dating back from the 14th to the 20th century. Alongside the works – all belonging to Valter Guarnieri’s collection – the display features a collection of traditional kimonos and paintings on fabric. The exhibition itinerary is developed over themed sections spanning from religion to the relationship between Japanese and nature, from writing, theatre and photography up to the roles of geishas and samurai in the society of the past. While samurai have never lost their relevance, being the dominating class ruling the country until the 19th century, geishas have changed their role thoughout the centuries, from highly-educated court ladies in the Heian age to courtesans in pleasure houses in Edo.
The different sections
Small objects, such as boxes and other small objects for smokers highlight the passion for the traditional kabuki theatre – one of the key subjects depicted in micro-sculptures and decorations-, while the influence of nearby countries and their costumes – such as China and Korea – can be seen in the introduction of Buddhist deities in the local culture. The last section of the exhibition hosts a selection of large-size screens analysing the different uses of handwriting and calligraphy.