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Les deux Boliviens

Les deux Boliviens
signed, dated and inscribed 'Foujita AÔUT 1932 BOLIVIE' and signed again in Japanese (lower right)
watercolour, pen and India ink and charcoal on paper
35 3/8 x 27 ½ in. (89.8 x 69.9 cm.)
Executed in Bolivia in August 1932
Collection Dietrich.
Private collection, by 1989.
Anonymous sale, Bailleul auctions, Bayeux.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in the 1990s.
S. Buisson, La vie et l'œuvre de Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita, Paris, 2001, vol. II, no. 32.131, p. 328 (illustrated pp. 95 & 328).
Paris, Galerie John Sayegh, Foujita, L'effet de la ligne, November - December 1989, n. p. (illustrated).
Dinard, Musée de Montparnasse, Palais des Arts et du Festival, Dinard invite Foujita, Le Maître japonais de Montparnasse, June - September 2004, no. 102, p. 186 (illustrated p. 116).
Valencia, Centro Cultural Bancaja, Foujita, entre Orient et Occident, July - September 2005, p. 193; this exhibition later travelled to Barcelona, Museu Diocesa' de Barcelona, September - October 2005.
Paris, Galerie Felix Vercel, 40e anniversaire de la disparition de Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita, November 2007 - January 2008, no. 21 (illustrated).
Special Notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
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Annie Wallington
Annie Wallington Impressionist & Modern Art

Lot essay

His work is so well balanced that when examining it, one doesn’t know whether to admire more the effect of the whole or the detail.”

in La Nacion, 4 May 1932

Born in Tokyo in 1886, Foujita first arrived in Paris in 1913, where he would spend most of his life. He immersed himself in the artistic scene of the city, while his careful examination of the art of his Western predecessors and contemporaries led him to move beyond the academic constraints he had previously known. ‘I, who did not even know the names Cézanne and Van Gogh, now opened my eyes to look out in a radically different direction. I saw that my artistic education up to then had been confined to the artistic styles of one or two people… I suddenly realised that I should forge ahead, with a completely different spirit, to break new grounds with my ideas. That day I threw my box of painting materials down on the floor, realising that I had to start all over again from the beginning’ (quoted in P. Birnbaum, Glory in a Line, A Life of Foujita, The Artist Caught Between East and West, New York, 2006, p. 36).

At the end of 1931, in order to escape a creative draught caused by the departure of Youki, his lover, Foujita set off to South America. By April 1933, he had visited the whole continent, from Brazil to Mexico via Peru and Ecuador. The busy streets that welcomed him there served as a crucial source of inspiration for the artist, who found himself drawn to the local crowd. He would often take snapshots of the scenes or the people he came across during his wanderings, which would then serve as the basis for his compositions. At the same time, Foujita started using a more varied palette, adding vibrant hues such as deep reds and unusual turquoise blues. All of these elements characterise Les deux boliviens, which the artist executed in the summer of 1932, when he travelled to Bolivia from neighbouring Argentina.

Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita, Mère et enfant à Mexico, 1933. Sold London, 20 June 2019 (£62,500). Artwork: © Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita, DACS 2021.

Lot Essay Header Image: Present lot illustrated (detail).

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