‘Venus Verticordia’, the iconic Pre-Raphaelite work by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 -1882), which is one of the Russell-Cotes most important paintings is flying to the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum in Tokyo. It will be the headliner in the exhibition Parabola of Pre-Raphaelitism, on display from March until June, and then at the Kurume City Art Museum in Kyushu until September.
Venus will be joining a collection showcasing the work of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Formed in 1848 by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his circle, the artists and their work had tremendous impact, at a time when the foundations of society were shifting.
This exhibition reveals the rich legacy of the period, tracing the achievements of the Pre-Raphaelites through approximately 150 works encompassing paintings in oil and watercolour, as well as drawings, stained glass, tapestries and furniture from the collections of individuals and organizations in Britain and North America.
The Mitsubishi Ichigokan, originally built in 1894 by the English architect Josiah Conder was the first Western-style office building in Tokyo’s Marunouchi district, was designed in the Queen Anne style of architecture that was popular in England in the late 19th century. However, after falling into disrepair in the 60s it has been reconstructed using the original blueprints on the same lot. The Mitsubishi Ichigokan, symbolizing the modernization of Japan in the late 19th century, was reborn as the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, an icon of Tokyo’s Marunouchi district, in 2010.
Sarah Newman, Museum Manager said “It is fantastic to see ‘Venus Verticordia’ as the face of the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition in Tokyo, appearing on posters, banners and in newspaper articles throughout Japan.
She will be the perfect ambassador for the Russell-Cotes and for Bournemouth, demonstrating the international significance of our extraordinary art collection.”
“The Russell-Cotes itself has always had very strong connections with Japan. Its founders, Merton and Annie Russell-Cotes travelled to the Far East in 1885 and were overwhelmed by the beauty of Japanese crafts and the skill of its craftsmen, sending back to Bournemouth 100 packing cases of Japanese souvenirs including armour, swords, shrines and lacquerware as well as more mundane items including menu holders and straw sandals. Originally on display in their Bournemouth hotel, they now can be seen by all visitors at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum.”