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 Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita  (1886 - 1968)

/ foo-jee-tuh/
About: Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita


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Lived/Active: France/Unknown Country/Japan/Switzerland      Known for: modernist animal, figure and still life painting

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BIOGRAPHY for Leonard Foujita
1886 (Tokyo, Japan)
1968 (Zurich, Switzerland)

France/Unknown Country/Japan/Switzerland

Self portrait - Self-portrait
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Often Known For
modernist animal, figure and still life painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

A French-Japanese painter and printmaker credited with being the "first Japanese artist to free that country's art of its legendary and classic image", Tsuguharu Foujita spent most of his career in Paris, where he was associated with revolutionary artists including Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and Henri Rousseau.  However, Foujita often returned to his native county and was there for nine years during World War II.  After that, he returned to Paris where he served as President of the Association of Japanese Artists.

His painting style was primarily expressionist, although he did some realism as well.  After his conversion to Catholicism, he did frescoes for the Chapel of Our Lady of Peace in Reims.  He also did the decoration at the Japanese House at Cité Universitaire in Paris. 

In Tokyo, Japan, as a youth, he studied at the Imperial School of Fine Art, and received much recognition including the purchase of one of his paintings by the Japanese Emperor.  In 1912, he went to London, and the next year to Paris to live, and this ended what appeared to be a career in Japan.

In 1917, he had his first exhibition in Paris, and by 1924, was exhibiting with the Fauves at the Salon d'Automne.  That same year, he became an elected member of the Tokyo Academy of Fine Arts.

Tsuguharu Foujita died in Zurich, Switzerland in 1968 at the age of 81.


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