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Madama Butterfly and the Appeal of Japan. #madrid, 1868-1915 22 June to 27 August 2017 Curator: Juan Ángel López Manzanares On 20 November 1907 the Teatro Real in #madrid presented the first performance in Spain of Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly. One hundred years later and coinciding with a new production of Puccini’s work at the same opera house, the #museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is presenting a small exhibition that locates that Spanish premiere in the context of the japonisme which gripped much of the Western world in the last third of the 19th century, including #madrid. The exhibition is sponsored by JTI. Madama Butterfly and the Appeal of Japan. #madrid, 1868-1915 introduces Puccini’s opera to visitors through around fifty paintings, posters, prints, porcelain, photographs, fashion accessories and librettos loaned by the #museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas, the #museo ABC, the #museo de las Artes Escénicas of the Institut del Teatre, and the Documentation and Archive centre of the SGAE, among others. Paris Following almost 250 years of isolation, in the mid-1850s Japan was obliged by the United States to open up to the West. This change of political strategy produced profound internal tensions that led to the restoration of imperial power during the Meiji era (1868-1912). Just Just prior to this, Japan’s important influence on culture had already started to become evident in the West following its participation in the Universal Exhibitions in London (1862) and Paris (1867). Artists such as Whistler, Manet and Monet were among the first to be fascinated by Japanese art, which would come to have a decisive influence on the future course of modern art. Among Spanish painters, Eduardo Zamacois and Mariano Fortuny, both active in Paris in the 1860s and early 1870s were also attracted by Japanese art at an early date. Close to Fortuny, Raimundo de Madrazo also shared this passion for japonisme, introducing orientalist motifs such as screens, parasols and cushions into his works, as in Reading (Aline Masson) of ca. 1880- 85. Collecting In #madrid the elite social classes also revealed an early interest in objects from Japan, which substituted the earlier role occupied by chinoiseries as a symbol of social distinction. Small rooms and salons decorated in the Japanese style became fashionable for aristocratic town palaces and mansions, including the Santoña palace, residence of the politician Cánovas del Castillo, and the town palace of the Infanta Eulalia de Borbón. Even the famous Lhardy restaurant had a Japanese room, which still survives today. Within collections of a more encyclopaedic nature, in his #madrid palace the Marquis de Cerralbo acquired Japanese arms, armour and other objects from auctions in Paris, including a set of Jubako or stacking food boxes. The collection of the painter Joaquín Sorolla, who moved to #madrid in 1889, included various Japanese works, among them a magnificent album of surimono prints which is included in the exhibition. In the second decade of the 20th century the holdings of the recently created #museo Nacional de Artes Industriales (now the #museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas) were expanded with the donation of various Japanese prints and books from the collection of the engineer and architect Juan Carlos Cebrián.
Madama Butterfly and the Appeal of Japan. #madrid, 1868-1915
#museo Thyssen-Bornemisza Sponsored by JTI In collaboration with Teatro Real de #madrid Venue and dates: #madrid, #museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, 22 June to 27 August 2017 Curator: Juan Ángel López Manzanares, curator at the #museo Thyssen-Bornemisza Number of works: 46 VISITOR INFORMATION #museo Thyssen-Bornemisza Address: Paseo del Prado, 8. 28014 #madrid. Balcony Gallery, 1st floor Opening times: Mondays, 12 noon to 4pm. Tuesdays to Sundays, 10am to 7pm Free entry More information: www.museothyssen.org
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