Léonard-Tsuguharu Foujita - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in Association with Poly Auction Hong Kong Sunday, November 28, 2021 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Snow is synonymous with purity in Japan, its white coat purifying the earth and nourishing it in anticipation of Spring. Here Foujita stays close to Japanese tradition whilst instigating a second wave of Japonisme in Paris that Picasso himself acknowledged by spending several hours in front of the 110 watercolours exhibited for the first time in June 1917 at Galerie Chéron on rue La Boétie. There is widespread surprise. Sold out on the first evening, these works showcased Western subjects in a very Eastern, and completely original, mode. The Parisian press is fascinated. André Salmon [the famous French art critic] wrote the preface for the catalogue. The son of General Foujita of the Japanese Imperial Army is recognised as the painter of Paris by the Parisian press. It is a coup. Success is at hand. Modigliani is there too, along with all of Montparnasse, who recognise the precious and poetic soul within that this Japanese man brings to the nascent School of Paris. No one can create a bridge between the Orient and Parisian Modernity better than Foujita.


    He is inspired by the lovely faces of the friends of his wife, Fernande Barrey, whom he married in March. A painter herself, she studied models at the Académie Colarossi with Jeanne Hébuterne, Jeanne Labaye, Chana Orloff and many others, a feminine circle that seduced and fascinated Foujita. Also present, at La Rotonde as well as at Le Dôme [the famous Montparnasse cafés frequented by artists including Modogliani and Picasso], are Hanka Zborowska, the wife of the merchant Zborowski, Lunia Czekowska and Nina Hammet. Beyond a simple portrait, Foujita concentrates and fuses different faces to extract an allegory of Winter, of Purity, a vision of ideal Beauty.


    Sylvie Buisson, March 2021


    © Archives. Artistiques Sylvie BUISSON, Paris 2021



    © Archives. Artistiques Sylvie BUISSON, Paris 2021





    • Provenance

      Private Collection, Troyes
      Private Collection, France (by descent from the above in 1974)
      Acquired from the above by the present owner


Femme au voile sous la neige (Veiled Woman Under the Snow)

signed, inscribed and dated 'T. Foujita Paris 1917 [in Kanji and English]' lower right
India ink and watercolour enhanced by gouache on paper
35.5 x 27.5 cm. (13 7/8 x 10 7/8 in.)
Executed in 1917, this work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by Sylvie Buisson. This work will be included in the forthcoming fourth volume of the catalogue raisonné prepared by Sylvie Buisson.

Full Cataloguing

HK$500,000 - 700,000 

Sold for HK$630,000

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2027

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in Association with Poly Auction

Hong Kong Auction 29 November 2021