Metamorphosis of Classicism and Mythological Theme in the Art of 1750s-1980s

Sat. 30 May. 2020 - Sun. 12 Jul. 2020

Admission Fee:
Adults (advanced tickets): JPY 960
Adults: JPY 1,200 (JPY 960)
University Students: JPY 850 (JPY 680)
High School Students and Below: Free

*Discounted prices in parenthesis apply to groups of 20 members or more. *Free admission available for yearly pass holders. *Free admission is also available for holders of the following along with one companion: physical disability certificates, rehabilitation certificates, mental disability certificates, wounded veteran certificates, atomic bomb survivor certificates, and Kochi Prefectural or Kochi City senior citizen passes.

Organizers: The Museum of Art Kochi, TV Kochi Broadcasting

Supporters: Kochi Prefectural Board of Education, Kochi City Board of Education, The Kochi Shimbun, NHK Kochi Broadcasting Corporation, Kochi Cable Broadcast, FM Kochi Broadcasting, Kochi City FM

Planning Collaborator: ALTIS Co., Ltd.


With goddesses presiding over their fields, heroes locked in battle, and bathing nymphs, Greek and Roman mythology has been the subject of art since ancient times. Interpretations of these myths evolve over time and are thus represented in different forms in various art, as offerings to the gods or representations of morality and lessons.

With the arrival of the 18th century, progress in the excavations of archaeological ruins drew interest, and art began to reflect both the ideas of the century and the archeological findings. From the 19th century on, mythology and ancient culture continued to provide inspiration for symbolic and impressionist artists.

This exhibition introduces works by 34 artists from the 18th century to the 20th century. It includes works by Piranesi, who was fascinated by ancient ruins; Victorian artists who used mythological stories as themes; Renoir who depicted nude women surrounded by rich nature, reminiscent of goddesses; and Picasso who introduced mythological monsters into his works.

Enjoy following the evolution of mythology in art, as it was handed down from ancient times, through these mystical art prints, refined ancient classics, and peaceful rural landscapes.

Related Events

① Movie Screening: Olympia (1938) - Documentary of the Berlin Olympics

The documentary of the Berlin Games (held in 1936) directed by Riefenstahl will be screened, selected from amongst many documentary films of the modern Olympics. The Olympic Games originated from ancient Greek competitions. This film captures that inherited ancient Greek spirit, through scenes exhibiting the polished physiques of athletes and the spectacle of the filmed games. With a spectrum of camera angles and scenes of athletes with highly polished physiques. As one of the great sports documentaries that influenced future generations, Olympia (1938) is not to be missed.

Director: Leni Riefenstahl
Date: 14th June (Sun)
Time: 10:30 - Part 1: Festival of Nations / 13:30 - Part 2 Festival of Beauty
*Doors open 30 minutes before
Venue: The Museum of Art, Kochi - Museum Hall
Entry Ticket: ¥500
*No advanced tickets available. No reservation needed. Only one ticket is required for both screenings.

② Stories of Greek Mythology at the Planetarium

Many constellations and planets were named after Greek deities and heroes. A planetarium commentator will introduce constellations that are related to the exhibited works.

Date and Time: 24th June (Wed) 18:00-19:00
Venue: Otepia Kochi MIRAI Science Center Planetarium
Capacity: 40 people *first-come first-served basis
*Free of charge
*Register by 23rd June by calling 088-866-8000

③ Saturday Lecture

1. Max Klinger and Mythologies
Lecturer: OKUNO Katsuhito
Date and Time: 6th June (Sat) 14:00-15:00
Venue: The Museum of Art, Kochi - Museum Hall
*Free of charge *Reservation not required

2. Mythologies Take Shape - with Spotlight on British Art
Lecturer: YANAGISAWA Hiromi
Date and Time: 27th June (Sat) 14:00-15:00
Venue: The Museum of Art, Kochi - Museum Hall
*Free of charge *Reservation not required

Teachers’ Week

For a week from 7th June (Sun) to 14th June (Sun), we would like to invite teachers in Kochi Prefecture to visit the exhibitions for free. This invitation is not limited to art teachers. It is opened to all teachers. Please apply in advance by calling 088-866-8000 by 6th June (Sat).

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