Tsuguharu Foujita

Foujita was the son of a general of the Japanese Imperial Army. The purchase of one of his pieces by the Emperor himself would propel Foujita, at a very young age, to the status of famous artist in the Land of the Rising Sun.

He could have settled on a brilliant homeland career, but his artist’s intuition convinced him that his fate lay in the Western World, most definitely in Paris. He arrived in 1913 when the Fauvist “beasts” and Cubism were at their peak, along with the premises of Abstract Art. A deep emotional and aesthetic shock rocked the artist, who also suffered from particularly difficult living conditions, par for the course for most of the Montparnasse artist crowd with which he was friendly.

He first exhibited his works with Chéron, Soutine and Modigliani’s agent. Picasso was noted as having stayed at the vernissage for three hours (!). A real signal to the underground community of the time, those who would one day themselves become the masters of the XXth century.

He quickly became a symbolic figure of the “Années Folles” in Paris (1918-1930).

His art form, applied to a solid tradition of Japanese art, mixed and mingled with the abounding modernism of the period. A talented designer, wielding the dabber and the brush with maestro, his style is immediately identified. His nudes, cats and even some of his still life pieces have contributed to his legend. Deeply in love with France, Foujita would be granted French citizenship in 1955 and would even convert to Catholicism in 1959. “Léonard”, his baptized name, is a vibrant tribute to the western culture he so adored.

A very sought after item on the Japanese market, among others, Foujita’s market value has resisted the hard economic crises of the recent past, becoming stronger yet.

Displayed in numerous first class museums (Paris, Brussels, Munich, Chicago…)