The Civico Museo d’Arte Orientale is situated in the heart of Trieste, just a stone’s throw from Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia.
Exhibits are arranged on four levels and include Oriental artworks, arms, musical instruments and ethnographic objects, mainly from China and Japan. On the ground-floor, acting as an introduction, one can see how commercial relations were established between Trieste and the East, starting in the 1700s and developing in the 1800s, when the ships of the Austrian Lloyd Shipping Company left Trieste and passed along the Suez Canal, finally reaching the far-away coasts of India, China and Japan. A special space is dedicated to an interesting group of sculptures from the Gandhara, dating from between the 1st and 4th centuries AD, which were collected during the Italian expedition to the summit of K2 in 1954.
The 1st floor is dedicated to Chinese art, including embroidered silk dresses and textiles from the late Qing Dynasty (19th century); china dating from the Song Dynasty (11th-13th centuries) to the late Qing Dynasty (19th century); sculptures and objects connected to Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism — China’s religions.
On the two upper floors, the Museum displays its Japanese section, starting with porcelain, and culminating in the hall which houses the Ukiyo-e – i.e. the Images from the Floating World – print collection, with works by great Japanese masters such as Hiroshige and Hokusai, with his famous Wave.
It is possible to get a glimpse of traditional kabuki theatre, to get closer to the rites and traditions of Shinto and Buddhism and finally, through the rich collection of arms and armoury from the 15th to the 19th centuries, to explore a Samurai’s life and moral code.
Comune di Trieste
Video by TCD
With the contribution of Friuli Venezia Giulia