Details
RYUZABURO UMEHARA
(Japanese, 1888-1986)
Pumpkin
titled, dated and signed in Japanese (on the label affixed on the back of frame)
pigment on paper
44.5 x 50 cm. (17 1/2 x 19 3/4 in.)
Painted in 1948
one seal of the artist
Provenance
Private Collection, Japan

Lot Essay

A master of Japanese modern painting, Umehara's artistic sources may be traced to his childhood in Kyoto and to his early studies in France at the beginning of the twentieth century. His family manufactured white cloth for the kimono industry and Umehara watched as pattern designers and dyers energized the material with the bold designs and bright colours of traditional Japanese art. From these designs he learned clarity of form and colour. From French painting and particularly from Pierre-Auguste Renoir with whom he studied in 1908, Umehara learned the techniques of Western-style oil painting and the freedom to expand upon the conventional spatial arrangements of Japanese art. We definitely notice Renoir's influence in the Impressionistic brushstrokes and the fauvist colours depicting the pumpkins.
Umehara Ryuzaburo used his time in Europe not only to acquaint himself with the current modern art movements (the influence of the Fauves and Picasso are evident in his later work) but also to experience the light in France, Spain and Italy. His travels seemed to liberate his painting from its early rigidity and upon his return to Japan, when he held his first solo exhibition, he was quickly recognized as one of the leading artists of the day.
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