Chrysanthemums, Dragons and Samurai

Japanese Ceramics at the Musée Ariana


Brûle-encens, Kutani, 1868-1890, Legs Gustave Revilliod, 1890

With nearly 800 items, dating from the mid-17th to the early 20th century, the Musée Ariana has one of the largest Swiss collections of Japanese ceramics. This ensemble is remarkable for the great richness of its omnipresent painted decoration.

On show for the first time almost in its entirety, this outstanding body of work traces the compelling history of developments in techniques and styles (blue and white, Imari, Kakiemon, Nabeshima, Satsuma and Kutani) in the Land of the Rising Sun.

The main production centres represented offer a vast overview of Japanese ceramics. Marked by both foreign influences and traditions, these articles for daily or ceremonial use, figurines and large-scale pieces were mainly designed for the export market. From their arrival in Europe in the 17th century to the Universal Exhibitions of the 19th century, these objects have never
ceased to fascinate Westerners.

This Genevan public collection had not previously been the subject of a specific study. Chrysanthemums, Dragons and Samurai — Japanese ceramics at the Musée Ariana, the fourth exhibition in the series “ L’Ariana sort de ses réserves ” (The Ariana opens up its storerooms), aims to fill this gap. This project has given us the opportunity to carry out a major conservation programme and to spotlight recent acquisitions resulting from generous donations.

The exhibition catalogue, produced with the assistance of renowned experts from Europe and Japan, serves the dual purpose of academic reference work and art book.

Vue d'une affiche pour l'exposition "Chrysanthèmes, dragons et samouraïs"

Campagne d'affichage participative

Pour son exposition Chrysanthèmes, dragons et samouraïs, le Musée Ariana lance une nouvelle campagne d’affichage singulière.

Read more
couverture de la publication "Chrysanthèmes, dragons et samouraïs"

Chrysanthèmes, dragons et samouraïs | catalogue

Collection japonaise
Éditions Georg, 2020
Ana Quintero Pérez et Stanislas Anthonioz (dir.)

Read more
Collections en ligne du Musée Ariana

Online Collections

New platform that enables anyone to explore the museum’s collections in the finest detail.

Read more

On video

Ana Quintero Pérez et Stanislas Anthonioz, commissaires l'exposition,  vous racontent les découvertes fascinantes qui ont accompagné la préparation de l'exposition!

Here you will find 3 episodes featuring Violet, who sets off on a journey to discover Japanese ceramics alongside the curators of the exhibition 'Chrysanthemums, dragons and samurai’, Ana Quintero Pérez and Stanislas Anthonioz.

Supported by

In collaboration with

PRESSE Show content

Press release are available for free download. Contact us to obtain high resolution photos.

Communiqué de presse FR

Communiqué de presse EN


Brochure (FR/EN)

Brochure (I/DE)

Practical information


Lower ground floor

Audience type

General public


Lift for access to lower ground floor


12.- / 9.- CHF

Booking and ticketing