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The National Art Center, Tokyo features masterpieces of "love" from the Louvre. Check out the must-see points before you go!

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Left / ©The National Art Center, Tokyo Right / François Gerard, Amor and Psyche, 1798, Louvre, Paris Photo ©RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Tony Querrec / distributed by AMF-DNPartcom* All rights reserved.
The Louvre exhibition is currently being held at the National Art Center, Tokyo in Roppongi until June 12. The theme of this year's exhibition is "Painting Love. Guided by the story of love from the Louvre's collection, a collection of masterpieces from the Louvre's collection will be gathered. From enchanting works to those that move the heart, this exhibition is a must-see. In this issue, we summarize the highlights of the Louvre exhibition.

Exhibiting various forms of love by masters of beauty

The National Art Center © ©, Tokyo

The Louvre Museum is a museum in Paris, France that is celebrated as a temple of beauty. It is certainly a rare opportunity to view such an exhibition in Japan; the ""Louvre Exhibition: The Art of Portraiture,"" held in Tokyo and Osaka from 2018 to 2019, attracted approximately 700,000 visitors.

The theme of this year's Louvre exhibition is ""Painting Love. Seventy-three works have been selected from the museum's rich collection to allow visitors to appreciate the various expressions of love in Western painting. In response to the theme of love, the museum offers a prologue and a tour of the museum in four chapters.
● Chapter 1: Under the God of Love--Desire in Ancient Mythology
Greek and Roman mythology sometimes expresses a strong desire to possess everything about the beloved. In this chapter, we can see the falling in love, the use of one's own charms to seduce in order to win the other, and the tragic end of love. Also shown here are examples of interior decorations found in the palaces and residences of royalty and aristocrats that are inspired by Amor, the god of love.

Chapter 2: Under the Christian God
Parent-child love occupies an important place in the Christian view of love. Here we can see the theme of love that involves sacrificing oneself for the sake of the beloved. The ""Holy Family,"" which is also a model of parent-child love, and the ""Crucifixion of Christ,"" in which God the Father crucifies Jesus, his own son, are introduced.

● Chapter 3: Under Man: The Age of Temptation
In the 17th century, love between humans living in the real world flourished in the Netherlands. Here, we can see scenes of common people, men and women, huddled together in a tavern or trading in love, as depicted in Dutch genre paintings. Also included are 18th-century French paintings of upper-class men and women at fêtes galants (elegant banquets) and paintings of bourgeois marriages, couples, and families from the latter half of the 18th century.

Chapter 4: Pastoral Love and the Tragedy of Romanticism in 19th Century France
After the French Revolution, there was a growing trend toward marriages based on love that did not depend on status or family origin. The paintings depict the love of naive young people and romantic, idyllic love that was favored during this transitional period. Also featured are stories of love between young men, the neoclassical ideal, and the doomed love themes of Romanticism.

Three must-see masterpieces to be picked up and introduced.

Check in advance for three paintings that you must check out when you visit.
●Sassoferrato, The Sleeping Infant Jesus

Sassoferrato, The Sleeping Child Jesus, c. 1640-1685 Louvre Museum, Paris Photo©RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Stéphane Maréchalle / distributed by AMF-DNPartcom * All rights reserved.

The Virgin Mary gently cradles the infant Jesus on her breast and gazes at his pure sleeping face. The 17th century Italian painter Sassoferrato gained popularity with this subject. In this tender image of the Virgin, one cannot help but feel the love between parent and child and between human beings.
●François Gerard, Amor and Psyche

François Gérard, Amor and Psyche, 1798, Louvre Museum, Paris Photo RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre©) / Tony Querrec /distributed by AMF-DNPartcom* All Rights Reserved.

It depicts a romantic moment when Amor (Cupid), the god of love, kisses the forehead of Psyche, a princess known for her beauty. The couple later overcame a tragic ordeal and were married in the heavenly realm. In this work, the expression on Psyche's face, which is vacant, and her body, which is reminiscent of adolescence, are superbly rendered. We can read the surprise of an innocent girl who is conscious of love for the first time.
●François Boucher, Odalisque with Brown Hair

François Boucher, Odalisque with Brown Hair, 1745 Louvre Museum, Paris Photo RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre©) / Tony Querrec / distributed by AMF-DNPartcom * All rights reserved.

The 18th century French master Boucher is famous for his nude paintings of the mythological goddess Venus and Diana, but this is a nude painting that does not rely on literature. This is a work that pursues eroticism, drawing on the fantasies that Europeans had about harems in the Islamic world. In the center of the composition, a plump buttock is depicted, and the viewer can appreciate the provocative eroticism of the painting.

Masterpiece Fragonard's "Kan-nuki" comes to Japan for the first time in 26 years!

Jean=Honoré Fragonard, Kannuki, c. 1777-1778 Photo RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre), Paris, Photo©/ Michel Urtado / distributed by AMF-DNPartcom *All rights reserved.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard was one of the leading French painters of the 18th century. He is so called because he characterized the celebration of women, which was the theme of French painting at the time. He excelled in sensuous and delicate genre paintings.

Fragonard's masterpiece, ""Kan-nuki,"" is highly regarded as one of the greatest treasures of French painting. 18th century France depicted cheerful and light scenes of upper-class men and women engaged in love games. Among them, ""Kanuki"" is a unique masterpiece that overflows with tension and eroticism, while at the same time being the height of elegance.

The ""kan-nuki"" refers to the lock on the door depicted in the upper right corner of the painting. The woman surrenders herself at the moment the man puts the can opener on the door, and the expression on her face, which can be taken as either bewilderment or euphoria, is brilliantly depicted. It reflects the momentary movement of her heart. Note how the paintings are interspersed with objects that symbolize the lovemaking of a man and a woman.

Fun only for visitors. Museum goods and collaborative menus are also not to be missed!

In conjunction with this exhibition, original goods are on sale at the "Louvre: Painting Love" at the National Art Center, Tokyo. In addition, cafes and restaurants in the nearby Tokyo Midtown (Roppongi) are offering collaborative menus. Here are just a few of the goods and collaboration menus you should check out. If you visit the exhibition, be sure to stop by.
●Sarutahiko Coffee Love L'oeuvre Blend Drip Bag Coffee

Sarutahiko Coffee Love Louvre Blend Drip Bag Coffee 1,296 yen (tax included) ©NTV

A 5-pack of drip-back coffee in an original box with a medium-roasted blend inspired by the painting "Amor and Psyche. Please enjoy the café time that will be the aftermath of the painting.
●Failer handkerchief

Feiler Handkerchief 2,970 yen each (tax included) ©NTV

Feiler Handkerchief 2,970 yen each (tax included) ©NTV

An original handkerchief created in collaboration with the German Chenille brand ""Feiler. The angel motif inspired by ""Amor and Psyche"" invites a feeling of crush just by holding it. The handkerchief is available in two colors, white and light blue.
The handkerchief will be on sale in early May.
●Tokyo Midtown Collaboration Menu
During the event, collaboration menus will be available at cafes and restaurants in nearby Tokyo Midtown. Sweets, smoothies, salads, and pastas with hearts and pink motifs will satisfy both your eyes and your stomach.
The "Louvre Exhibition: Painting Love" is sure to make you feel dreamy and elegant with the arrival of spring. You can appreciate the masterpieces of love up close and personal until June 12. Please take advantage of this rare opportunity to visit the National Art Center, Tokyo.
Louvre Museum Exhibition
Opening hours: 10:00-18:00
*Open until 20:00 every Friday and Saturday
Admission until 30 minutes before closing
Closed: Tuesdays
However, the museum will be open on Tuesday, May 2.

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