Glory in a Line: A Life of Foujita

by Phyllis Birnbaum

Foujita AMazon

I read about the eccentric Japanese  artist Foujita who was active in Paris form 1913 until the 1960s. He seems to have been a fascinating character! Wore a Greek toga on the streets of Paris or came to a party in a loin cloth!

I love true stories about people and their lives! Foujita is known for his mysterious white and the simple ink outline. He did many nudes as well as drawings of cats! But apparently, much of his work is rarely exhibited!

One of his many self-portraits

One of his many self-portraits

He first traveled to Paris in 1913, and continued to paint Western-style paintings with a japanese touch. He was famous for the mysterious translucent white he used in his work. An example below is of Nude on a Jouy Fabric was one of his earlier successes.

Nude on a Jouy Fabric, with favored model Kiki

Nude on a Jouy Fabric, with favored model Kiki

Later he returned to Japan and became a wartime artist for the military. He had no choice in the matter perhaps but has been heavily criticized for his enthusiastic support of the Japanese military in WWII.

I was very interested to learn about Foujita,one of the first artists involved in painting after the European style. But I thought the author did not really let us get close to the man, who he was as a person. Nevertheless, I hope more people can see Foujita’s work and know about his life.

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