In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the National Museum of Western Art and the 55th anniversary of Nippon Television Network Corporation.
From the museum website, 18 February 2009
Exhibitions have been frequently held in Japan of works from the collections of the Louvre. Usually when an exhibition is held of a large museum’s collection, it is divided into period and country. The composition of this exhibition, however, will reveal a bold divergence from this norm. This exhibition features 17th century European painting; but rather than dividing the works by national boundaries, as is customary, instead these paintings will be divided into three major themes, thus giving viewers an opportunity to enjoy a lateral cross-comparison of the paintings created in Europe during this period.
These three themes are The Golden Age and its Shadow, Great Oceangoing Ships and Scientific Revolution, and Relics of Classical Civilization in a Century of Saints. In these groupings images of the courtly world will confront those of impoverished peasants, and the various aspects of natural sciences advances and the new social aspects brought about by an enlarged world will be summarized.
Further, the exhibits will provide an examination of how new standards of religious imagery were born in Christian society after the religious reforms. The exhibition will feature important works by such major masters in the Louvre collection as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Rubens, Poussin, Claude Lorraine, La Tour, Domenichino, Guercino, Velasquez, and Murillo.