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Michelangelo and the Ideal Body

Michelangelo and the Ideal Body

In a nutshell
This exhibition draws a through line from Greek sculpture to Michelangelo, demonstrating the ideal male body from Ancient Greece to the Renaissance. The curators explain the emphasis the Greeks placed on the idealization of perfection as opposed to the unique, the athletic body, and the blending of male and female features. Spoiler alert: there are only two pieces by Michelangelo: David-Apollo, which is unfinished; and Young Saint John the Baptist, which is in pieces but has been reconstructed.  

The venue
The National Museum of Western Art was designed by Le Corbusier, a renowned French architect, and is designated as an Important Cultural Property. There is a main building with two additional wings that provide four floors of gallery space. Special exhibitions are held in B2F. 

English? (labels/audio guides/handouts)
All of the available information is in English, including an audio guide.

Only one piece may be photographed (Laocoon).

The feels
While any day in the presence of the work of the master Michelangelo is a good one, this exhibition is more like an art history lesson of the ideal human male form rather than a showcase of Michelangelo.

This exhibition would appeal to anyone interested in classical art or would like to learn more about the male form in an art history context.

How far out?
Centrally located in Ueno Park. A few minutes walk from the JR Ueno Station (park exit); about a ten minute walk from the Keisei Ueno station or the Ueno Subway station.

How much time? 
About an hour. 

How much money?
¥1,600 for general admission (includes admission to the permanent collection).

Until when?
September 24, 2018

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 if you have some free time or are an art history nerd.

https://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/exhibitions/2018michelangelo.html and http://michelangelo2018.jp/english.html

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