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EXHIBITION Painting Asia from life

  • Exhibition
  • 14 February 2020 - 6 September 2020

Explorer, adventurer, writer, photographer, journalist and inventor: Arnold Henry Savage Landor (1865-1924) is an extremely interesting figure, who had great success in life and, for still unclear reasons, fell into oblivion after his death.
Savage Landor was born in Florence to an English father and an Italian mother. He spent his childhood and adolescence in very lively intellectual circles, where literature and art were daily passions. Among his teachers was Stefano Ussi (1822-1901), who sensed the young man's skills and suggested his family to let him devote to painting. Leaving home to discover the world, young Henry first visited some countries in North Africa and America, then moved to Asia: Japan, Korea, China, where he made hundreds of paintings in real life.
The documentary uniqueness of his creations is evident: at a time when the immediacy of photography was already being exploited, he long insisted on painting en plein air.
Although he was well aware of Orientalist painting, he stayed strictly away from its edulcorated, fantastical visions and from its meticulously classic style, preferring to plunge into the real world of Asia and portray it in a modern artistic manner.
The style of the Anglo-Florentine artist, quick and concise, proves to be extremely effective in "photographing" places and people who would have completely changed after a few decades as a result of the incipient globalization.

The MAO Museum of Oriental Art dedicates a monographic exhibition to the figure of Arnold Henry Savage Landor, curated by Francesco Morena, which represents an opportunity to discover a fascinating figure, but also the occasion to redesigning the profile and to restore, after decades of oblivion, the right dimension of the character. This exhibition brings together the largest known corpus of Savage Landor’s oil paintings – a precious heritage from private collections – of about 130 paintings, 10 watercolors and 5 drawings that the Anglo-Florentine artist created in his long stays and travels through China, Japan, Korea, Tibet and Nepal.
The set of these works constitutes, at the current state of our knowledge, the most consistent and significant nucleus of paintings by Savage Landor and represents the fundamental element to understand the artistic evolution of the author.
To offer a complete view of this phase of his life, in addition to the paintings made in Asia, will be on display several works made during his adolescence in Florence, during his travels in Europe and in his first experience abroad, in Egypt.
Like tesserae of a mosaic capable of expressing the complexity of the multifaceted figure of Savage Landor, next to the paintings there will be a patent deposited in the USA and all the volumes published by the author himself.

For the occasion, a bilingual Italian / English catalog containing essays by Francesco Morena and Silvestra Bietoletti will be published by SAGEP.



Info and reservations: Theatrum Sabaudiae t. 011.5211788 -

GROUPS AND SCHOOLS: € 75; € 80 in English or other languages - Reservation fee € 6


Exhibition only € 3 | Exhibition + permanent collection Full € 12 | Reduced € 10
Free admission: Abbonamento Musei e Torino+Piemonte Card