Sculptures in the Palm of a Hand

The Netsuke, now considered a small work of art, almost always single and in some ways unique, was originally designed to meet practical needs. As the Japanese kimono had no pockets, "fashionable" men used them as a "hook" to hold certain types of containers to the kimono belt (obi) tied to a ring. It was often used to carry with them personal items such as seals, medicines, perfumes, spices, tobacco and coins.

The Netsuke, usually made of wood or ivory, spread in Japan in the seventeenth century during the Edo era (1615 -1868). With the arrival of Westerners, however, the Japanese waived many of their traditional costumes to take those offoreigners. Netsuke then lost its original purpose to become the subject of attention of European and U.S. collectors.

The exhibition at the Poldi Pezzoli, primarily from the "Lanfranchi" collection, is organized according to two major thematic strands, and their countless subcategories, which are depicted in Netsuke: the Figure Human and Nature.

There is a surprising variety of subjects that are fantastic creatures, deity with extraordinary magical powers, but also mythological characters, and other figures related to folk tales, literature, theater, daily life, animals of the zodiac, flowers, plants, fruits or vegetables and much more!.

From November 14, 2008 to March 15, 2009

Museo Poldi Pozzoli
Via Alessandro Manzoni 12
Open: Tues-Sun 10 am - 6 pm closed Mon.
Entrance fee: Euro 8,00
MM 3 Montenapoleone (Yellow Line)

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