Lot 395
  • 395

LÉONARD TSUGUHARU FOUJITA | Deux jeunes femmes et un vase de fleurs (Deux femmes)

50,000 - 70,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita
  • Deux jeunes femmes et un vase de fleurs (Deux femmes)
  • signed T. Foujita and in Japanese (lower right)
  • gouache, watercolour, gold leaf and brush and ink on paper
  • 35 by 50cm., 13 3/4 by 19 3/4 in.
  • Executed in 1918.


Private Collection
Galerie Pierre-Yves Gabus, Geneva
Acquired from the above by the present owner 


Sylvie & Dominique Buisson, Léonard-Tsuguharu Foujita, Paris, 2001, vol. II, no. 18.73, illustrated p. 162

Catalogue Note

One year after Foujita’s arrival in Paris, France was struck down by war. The following few years would prove hugely challenging, on both a national and a personal level. Foujita could no longer rely upon the support of his family in Japan; he had to survive on his own. He embarked upon a bohemian lifestyle in Paris alongside Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, Andre Derain, Ossip Zadkine, Jules Pascin, Chaim Soutine and many others who like him were struggling to make ends meet. Modigliani was his closest companion. The Italian artist’s lover, Jeanne, introduced Foujita to Fernande Barrey; Barrey and Foujita married in 1917. It is most probably this close alliance that subliminally compelled Foujita towards a style evoking Italian Madonnas, enveloped in gold leaf. Concurrently, the graceful and naïve expressions of Foujita’s subjects evoke the courtesans as presented in Japanese prints, which Foujita was particularly fond of at this time.

It is reported that for three hours straight, Picasso studied and admired Foujita’s works when they were exhibited at Galerie Chéron in June 1917: some 110 watercolours sold on the opening night.

The style exhibited in the present work is utterly unique, a sensitive balance between the traditions of the Orient and the Occident. It really was the year 1917 that marked the ascendancy of the truly distinctive and magnificent Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita.

Madame Sylvie Buisson
Translated from the French