Girl with Wine (Lot 1012) was created in 1955 with solid, strong lines and exceptional skill. Foujita's use of the traditional Japanese yamato-e and tsukuri-e painting techniques enabled him to "construct" the piece, by first producing a draft sketch on tracing paper, then transferring the work to oil on canvas. He added charm to the subject with the careful use of colour to further highlight distinctive details, even in the background of the painting. The colour palette of the piece is harmonious. The work pays close attention to detail, and the style is sweet. The girl is featured in the center of the composition and styles her hair half up. Her facial expressions are soft as she stares gently ahead with an ethereal charm, typical of works that depict female saints in classical paintings. Holding a cup in one hand and a bottle of wine in the other, her red lips are full and curl slightly upwards. Fairylike, she wears a floral dress that is colourful with fine details, which are beautiful yet subtle, fully showcasing Foujita's brilliant use of colour.
The background of the painting is another key highlight. Many portraits of this era featured backgrounds in a realist style, depicting the studio or a room's decor, or views from outside the windows. Conversely, the backdrop of Girl with Wine features a tiled wall, with each tile showing different designs featuring Western architecture or animal renderings in a beautiful and detailed style. The use of ceramic tiles as decor first appeared in Spain in the 16th century. The tiles eventually became an architectural embodiment of culture, depicting customs or religious beliefs. The use of tiles in the background of Girl with Wine not only showcases the artist's skill to create a full and vivid image, but also reveals suggestions of his religious beliefs. Foujita would convert to Catholicism only two years later.
Through the innocence of the child in Girl with Wine, Foujita creates his own utopia. The work may also function as a solution to help the artist wash away wartime wounds. Furthermore, it would perhaps provide a spiritual sanctuary for his senior years, expressing Foujita’s passion and enthusiasm for the beauty of life.
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