First, the opportunity to view Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s astoundingly detailed and realistic painting, The Tower of Babel. One theory attests that 1,400 people are depicted at the picture’s bottom. Along with its minutiae, this 16th-century masterpiece overwhelms with its sense of volume and verisimilitude.
Next, two oil paintings by Hieronymus Bosch, the great master of fantasy, will come to Japan. This year, 2016, marks the 500th anniversary of Bosch’s death, and the artist is currently enjoying a popular revival in the West. This will be a rare opportunity to see two authentic works by Bosch, of which only about 25 are thought to exist in the world.
Also displayed are 16th-century copperplate prints showing the influence of Bosch, many of them produced after drawings by Bruegel. In some of them appear monsters having an uncanny ability to excite our imaginations—heads with legs and other fantastic creatures you will not want to miss.
Last but not least is a journey through the history of art and sculpture in the 16th-century Netherlands. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the center of art in the Netherlands moved northward from the south, and Dutch painters turned from age-old religious themes to landscapes and scenes of everyday life. The exhibition will offer a precious chance to trace these historical transitions through fine works of art.