Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers will be seen in Japan for the first time, as it is displayed in the country along with other paintings from the National Gallery.
The famous artwork from 1888 is one of the outstanding paintings from the National Gallery Collection which will be on show in the exhibition Masterpieces From The National Gallery, London in 2020, coinciding with the Olympic Games being in Tokyo.
The unprecedented exhibition, a partnership between the National Gallery and media organisation The Yomiuri Shimbun, will be at the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo and the National Museum of Art, Osaka.
It will be comprised of some 60 paintings, ranging from the Italian Renaissance to the beginning of the 20th century.
Sunflowers, one of the highlights, has never been seen in Japan before.
Masterpieces From The National Gallery, London is comprised of the largest selection from the gallery to tour internationally.
National Gallery, London, director Dr Gabriele Finaldi said: “Coinciding with Japan’s Olympic year in 2020, we will be presenting a superb selection of pictures in Tokyo and Osaka which tell the story of the National Gallery.
“In this unprecedented exhibition the gallery will share its collection and its expertise with new audiences and we hope to inspire a passion for our great paintings in new generations.”
Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said: “Arts and culture are important building blocks to strong friendships between nations.
“Japan and the UK have enduring creative links and this ground breaking exhibition will strengthen the National Gallery’s international reputation even further.”
Mr Wright added that “by sharing the treasures from our world-leading museums and galleries, we can promote the very best of Britain to the globe”.
Ms Akiko Mabuchi, director general of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo said it gave her “great pleasure” to be hosting the display, while Mr Toshio Yamanashi, director of the National Museum of Art, Osaka, said: “My heart is brimming with joyful expectation for this rare opportunity to immerse myself in the rich stories told by the great paintings.”
The exhibition will be at the Tokyo museum from March 3 to June 14 2020 and at the Osaka museum from July 7 to October 18 2020.