Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita - Editions & Works on Paper New York Tuesday, October 19, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita, photographed in Paris in 1927. Photo: Boris Lipnitzki / Roger-Viollet / TopFoto

    Shortly after completing his studies at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts in 1913, Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita moved to the vibrant Parisian neighborhood of Montparnasse and began establishing himself as a painter and printmaker. Working and socializing alongside contemporary artists including Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920), Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) and Henri Matisse (1869-1954) brought a distinct Western influence to the composition of Foujita’s traditionally clean, elegantly lined works. Favoring not only the formal elements, but the subject matter of his Western peers, Foujita often engaged with the subject of the nude and the act of self-portraiture. These works were met with great commercial success and earned him several solo exhibitions in Paris galleries. In creative Parisian circles Foujita was known not only for his artistry, but his eccentric and flamboyant dress and personality. Despite his commercial and social ties, Foujita returned to Japan for the duration of WWII, and created idealistic landscapes for the Japanese government, largely labeled as propaganda by his contemporaries. 

    Despite social ostracization following his war time activities, Foujita returned to Paris and continued creating works in the genre of the nude. Developing many of the successful elements from earlier works, Le Rêve (The Dream) features a milky-skinned reclining nude woman surrounded by woodland creatures. Whimsical and engaging, this nude harkens back to Ingres’ Odalisque in composition, but retains Foujita’s precise lines, emphasizing the elegance of the female subject and the serenity of her sleep. In contrast, the meticulously detailed fur and expression of the creatures delineates the space between dreams and reality. This unique approach to the subject of the nude reflects Foujita’s creative spirit and his successful adaptation of established Western traditions. As with many of the prints by prominent artists in mid-century Paris, Le Rêve was printed and published by Guy Spitzer who worked with Picasso, Leger, and Foujita, among others and distributed many of these artists’ most popular images.

    • Literature

      Sylvie and Dominique Buisson 48.04


Le Rêve (The Dream) (B. 48.04)

Lithograph in colors, on Arches paper, with full margins.
I. 19 3/4 x 24 in. (50.2 x 61 cm)
S. 24 5/8 x 32 1/4 in. (62.5 x 81.9 cm)

Signed and numbered '23/25 H.C.' in pencil (an hors commerce, the edition was 250) published by Guy Spitzer, Paris (with the blindstamp and inkstamp on the reverse), framed.

Full Cataloguing

$12,000 - 18,000 

Sold for $15,120

Contact Specialist

212 940 1220


Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 19-21 October 2021