20 March 2010
Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita (1886 – 1968) was a Tokyo born artist who moved to France in his youth and combined Japanese and French styles of art. The painter and engraver was eccentric and successful; wearing an ancient Egyptian hairstyle, Grecian tunics, earrings and an occasional lampshade as a hat. Living in the Bohemian LaRive Gauche during the early twentieth century he became friends with other artists, Henri Matisse, Juan Gris, Amedeo Modigliani and PabloPicasso. Foujita also took dancing lessons from modern dancer IsadoraDuncan. His apartment and studio had the rare bathtub with running hot water where he hosted many models including Man Ray’s lover Kiki de Montparnasse who he depicted in Reclining Nude with Toile de Jouy. As much as Foujita loved women he adored cats; both subjects lookback at us with the same alluring “oriental” shaped eyes.