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Tsuguharu Foujita (1886 - 1968)

Tsuguharu Foujita

Deux amies, profils

Signed lower left
Ink on paper
38.5 x 49.5 cm.

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Tsuguharu Foujita


Tsuguharu Foujita

(1886 - 1968)

Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita was a painter and an etcher. After his studies in Japan, he moved to Paris in 1913. He went to live in the Montparnasse area, one of the most lively and artistic neighbourhoods of Paris at that time. Here, he met Amedeo Modigliani, Jules Pascin, Chaim Soutine and Fernand Léger, and also befriended Juan Gris, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Unlike some of his artistic friends, Foujita became well-known rather quickly. After an exhibition in 1918 he became a popular artist.

Within a few years, and particularly after his 1918 exhibition, he achieved great fame for the highly original techniques used in his paintings of beautiful women and cats. Many models would visit Foujita to enjoy this hospitality, among them Man Ray's liberated lover, Kiki de Montparnasse, who boldly posed for Foujita in the nude in the outdoor courtyard. Another portrait of Kiki entitled "Reclining Nude with Toile de Jouy", depicts her lying naked against an ivory-white background. This became the talk of Paris during the Salon d'Automne in 1922. Foujita  was one of the few Montparnasse artists to make a significant amount of money during his early years.