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Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita (French/Japanese, 1886–1968)
LOT ID: 84151
Chat endormi (Sleeping Cat), ie. circa 1955

Graphite, on vellum
7.1 х 10.35 in. (18.03 x 26.29 cm.)
Lot description
Dating from the 1950s, this delicate drawing by Léonard Foujita features one of the artist's favored motifs, the cat, which he has executed here with the fine, sinuous lines that characterize his acclaimed draftsmanship. The work was acquired from the artist's wife, Kimiyo Foujita, who died in 2009. It is in good condition, with a few graphite marks throughout, and is attached to a mount with four pieces of tape; there is a black ink stain in the upper left corner. The paper measures 7.1 x 10.35 inches (18 x 26.3 cm).

Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita (Japanese, 1886-1962) was a highly influential French painter. Foujita trained at the Imperial School of Fine Arts in Tokyo and subsequently traveled to France in 1913 at the age of 27. His friends there included prominent artists such as Pablo Picasso, Soutine, Diego Rivera and Jean Cocteau. In his work, Foujita merged Japanese and European art in a distinctive manner, fusing Japanese calligraphic and ukiyo-e techniques with elements of European modernism. Best known for his simplistic nudes and cats, Foujita was also a skillful landscapist, poster artist, and muralist. His innovations include the manipulation of watercolor to create milky skin tones, a signature aspect of his work, and the use of flattened perspective in conjunction with sinuous lines. Foujita’s work is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art Tokyo, the Hiroshima Museum of Art, the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto, the Musée Maillol in Paris, and the Museo Municipal de Belles Artes Juan B. Castagnino in Rosario, Argentina, among many others. In 1965, construction began on Chapelle Foujita in Reims, France, a building for which he designed every decorative element; the chapel was completed in 1966, and remains open to the public. Foujita died in Zürich in 1962 after battling cancer.
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Chat endormi (Sleeping Cat) by Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita
  • Chat endormi (Sleeping Cat) by Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita
  • Chat endormi (Sleeping Cat) by Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita
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