Art Tokushima

The Revival Of Van Gogh’s Lost Masterpiece “Sunflowers” : Otsuka Museum of Art (Naruto City, Tokushima Prefecture)

Otsuka Museum of Art holds replicas of over 1000 pieces of art from more than 190 art museums in 25 countries around the world. The works are reproduced to their original size using ceramic boards.
You can appreciate works of art from all over the world while still being in Japan! Not only has the museum revived El Greco’s high altar panels, which were dispersed during war, etc., but it is also putting effort into recording and preserving works of art using the special traits of the ceramic boards that can maintain the color and shape of the works for over 2000 years.

Within these activities, the museum revived van Gogh’s visionary piece Sunflowers that was formerly in Japan.
Van Gogh’s Sunflowers used to include 7 versions of sunflowers in a vase. However, one of those pieces was destroyed by fire during the World War II Bombing of Kobe in 1945. That is why the piece destroyed by fire is called the lost Sunflowers.
This time the piece could be successfully reproduced based on images from an art book. It is a piece of work with an impressive royal blue background, unlike the 6 still existing Sunflowers depicted in vases.
It is said that the reason why van Gogh didn’t really use shadows and painted the piece two-dimensionally is because he was into ukiyo-e (a Japanese genre of woodblock prints and paintings).
If you take a closer look, you can see that even the brush strokes have been reproduced clearly and you can feel its vibrancy.


Above, Sunflowers destroyed by fire in 1945, oil on canvas 98 x 68 cm, reproduced as an original sized ceramic board based on an art book depiction from Mushakoji Saneatsu Memorial Museum in Fuchu, Tokyo.
For those who wish to understand in greater detail, we recommend going to the weekend gallery talks organized on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
We also recommend the museum mystery tour “Ao no Jikenbo” (‘Blue Case file’) where you can have double the fun by solving mysteries while appreciating art.

If you need a break, head to the cafe on the 2nd floor. How about the limited edition Sunflowers cake (JPY800)?


There are plenty of goods and souvenirs, too.
The most popular product is the “Sunflowers” candies (JPY540).

Because of the famous ear-cutting incident, the van Gogh doll’s other ear comes off…



A corner for “Gogh omikuji” (fortune slips) with van Gogh’s famous sayings is available, too.
How about a visit to the art museum with the revival of the lost Sunflowers?

Otsuka Museum of Art:

Location: Within Naruto National Park, Naruto-cho, Naruto City, Tokushima Prefecture
Tel: 088-687-3737
Business hours: 9.30-17.00 (Entrance until 16.00)
Holidays: Every Monday (In case of public holidays, closed on the following day) * From February 19th to 22nd 2015, due to the Sistina kabuki performance, entrance is possible only for ticket holders. No general admittance during this time. No holidays in August.
Fees: Adult JPY3,240, university students JPY2,160, elementary, middle and high-school students JPY540
Parking area: Around 340 spaces available
Homepage: http://www.o-museum.or.jp/english/ (English)

Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Daisuke Chiba


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Written by

Daisuke Chiba

Daisuke Chiba

Daisuke Chiba / Photo-writer I was born in 1985 in Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture, and now live in Tokushima City. After graduating university, I worked at a publishing company as an editor for various mooks, and in April 2014 I went freelance. I work as a photographer, copy-writer and editor, but also do product development and other stuff as well. If anyone needs me, I can do anything! Except, in spite of my being from Tokushima, dancing - I’m really bad at dancing Awa Odori!


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