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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION


signed 'Foujita' (lower left); signed, dated and inscribed 'Maternite 1954 Paris Foujita' (on the stretcher)
oil, gold leaf, pen and brush and India ink on canvas
10 ¾ x 8 5/8 in. (27.1 x 22 cm.)
Painted in Paris in 1954
Paul Pétridès, Paris.
Acquired from the above by the father of the present owner on 27 July 1955.
S. Buisson, Léonard-Tsuguharu Foujita, Paris, 1987, no. 51.30, p. 477 (illustrated, titled 'Femme et enfant' and dated 'circa 1951').
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.
Post lot text
Sylvie Buisson has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

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Lot Essay

In early 1950, after ten years spent in Japan, Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita and his wife Kimiyo moved back to France, a change which enabled the artist to reconnect with his friends from the Parisian art scene. Foujita relished the opportunity to get his paintings on gallery walls and proceeded to accumulate gallery shows and portrait commissions.
By the time of his return to France, Foujita's era of painting nudes was over. Instead, the artist turned his attention to focus on characterful portraits of young women and girls, as he stated in 1950: 'In reaction to such violent times, I prefer imagining very soft and childish subject matters.' Maternité, offered here, beautifully embodies the sentiments of serenity, calm and playfulness that Foujita is known for at this time, depicting the child, and the young woman with very fine and elegant lines from Foujita's assured hand. Foujita developed this type of doll-like portraiture in the early 1950s. He collected dolls, made of wax or porcelain, and would observe them from below, a characteristically Japanese point of view. This methodology would consequently enlarge his model's eyes, uncover her neck, and reinforce her chin's oval shape. Foujita furthermore adopts a restrained and pearlescent palette, highlighting the porcelain features of the figures. This painting by Foujita therefore represents a uniquely emblematic example of the artist's work from this time.
Two months after Foujita’s arrival in Paris in 1950, his friend and gallery owner Paul Pétridès organised an exhibition of fifty paintings. Maternité was acquired directly from Pétridès in 1955, just a year after it was excuted, and has been lovingly cherished within the same collection ever since.

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