• Kyodo News


The earliest work discovered so far by Tsuguharu Fujita (1886-1968), who is also known as “Leonard Foujita,” will be displayed for the first time at a museum at the Tokyo University of the Arts from July 4, the university said Thursday.

The oil painting, which is 60 cm tall and 45 cm wide, depicts a woman in a kimono sitting on a chair from the back. It was donated last year to the university by an individual in Tokyo and is believed to have been painted by Fujita when he was a 22-year-old art student at the university’s predecessor.

The work has Fujita’s French-style signature “T. Foujita” and is dated “May 1909.”

After graduating from the college, the painter moved to Paris and produced many pieces featuring nudes with “milk white” skin.

He first went to Paris in 1913 to study oil painting, obtained French citizenship in 1955 and died in Switzerland in 1968.

Ryo Furuta, an associate professor at the arts university who examined the painting, said while the work has yet to reflect the painter’s inclination toward opaque white color, it clearly suggests the influence of Seiki Kuroda (1866-1924), a well-known Western-style oil painter who guided Fujita.

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