Fear in Painting
In a nutshell
This collection is based on Kyoko Nakano’s bestselling book, Kowai-e about scary paintings. As there is almost no English at the exhibition, this was discovered by a Google search after seeing the exhibition. There are 80 works by Western (European) artists depicting mythology, Bible scenes, the devil and hell, landscapes and death scenes.
The Ueno Royal Museum is older museum that has no permanent collection and hosts a variety of exhibitions. The exhibition is quite popular. The wait to enter was 40 minutes at 9:30 on a weekday.
English? (labels/audio guides/handouts)
This facility is not very English friendly. Basic information about the artworks, the list of works handout and the chapter information was translated into English but all other information about the artworks and the audio guide is in Japanese only.
It isn’t particularly scary but it’s amusing to see two of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and William Hogarth’s Beer Street and Gin Lane inspired the sale of bottled beer and gin in the gift shop. The larger themes are unavailable without knowing Japanese.
There are some gorgeous works: Circe Offering the Cup to Ulysses by John William Waterhouse, Ulysses and the Sirens by Herbert James Draper and The Execution of Lady Jane Grey by Paul Delaroche.
How far out?
Centrally located in Ueno Park.
How much time?
About half an hour.
How much money?
¥1,600 for general admission
December 17, 2017
Rating: make a special trip, see it if you’re in the area or have some free time, see it only if you like this specific type of art
See it only if you really love this type of art.
Links (only in Japanese):