Kaoru Ueda, Auguste Rodin, Ossip Zadkine

The other day we found ourselves in Mito, capital city of Ibaraki. We had half-a-day to kill time so we went to see Kaoru Ueda’s exhibit of hyper-realist paintings at the Ibaraki Museum of Modern Art.

Detail on one of the displays outside the museum, a preview on what’s inside.

The only two objects of art inside the museum that people are allowed to take pictures of: Auguste Rodin’s The Three Shades (三つの影) and Ossip Zadkine’s Tree of Grace (恵みの木).

Three forlorn figures looking down on the damned entering the Gates of Hell. “Abandon all hope, those who enter here.”

NCMA Learn writes:

In the Inferno Dante describes three shades, souls of his departed countrymen, who danced in a circle as they told of their woeful state in Hades. Rodin’s The Three Shades stood upon the uppermost lintel of The Gates of Hell, crowning the tympanum just above The Thinker. The downward thrust of their left arms and their heads conveys despair as they summon the viewer to gaze upon the tumultuous drama of sin and damnation unfolding below them on The Gates.

This sculpture reminds of the the Dance of Death, the final scene of Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal, when Death summons all to dance to their graves.

Detail on Zadkine’s Tree of Grace sculture (Ozadkine 1962-3).

Zadkine is best known for his monumental sculpture The Destroyed City in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.