Description: AN INK PAINTING ATTRIBUTED TO TSUGUHARU FOUJITA (1886-1968) 20th Century. A landscape with pine tree against the lake, in ink and slight colour on paper, signed Tsuguharu in Japanese, 88 x 32cm. Provenance: Gift of Madame Kimiyo Foujita in late 1980s, thence by descent to the present owner. Like many of the iconic Modernist artists of the early 20th Century, Foujita was drawn to Paris, arriving in 1913 after graduating from the Tokyo University of Fine Art. At the same time as Chinese artists in Paris such as Xu Beihong, Lin Fengmian and Sanyu were creating a new visual language based on a dialogue between Chinese ink art and European Modern art, Foujita forged his own unique stylistic innovations applying traditional Japanese ink and brush with an oil-primed canvas. After a successful solo exhibition at Salon d'Automne, Foujita quickly gained a reputation as a figurative artist. Back in Japan, however, where he returned before the outbreak of World War Two, Foujita was little known, and was much criticised by his pacifist peers for work he undertook as a war artist under the employ of the Japanese government in 1939. It was during the war that Foujita reconnected with sumi-e (traditional Japanese ink and brush painting). Fine examples of his works in the medium are illustrated in Buisson La Vie et L'Oeuvre de Foujita, 1987, p.442. In the final days of the war, the artist evacuated to a small village in Kanagawa and is said to have visited a fellow artist who stayed in a boathouse near the Sagami Lake, the possible location in which the present landscape was painted. The present lot, with its gnarled pines and open spaces (yohaku), perhaps reflects the inner turmoil of the artist at this difficult time. He left his homeland in 1948 never to return. ? ??????????
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