Arimoto Toshio zensakuhin 1973--1984 (Complete works of Arimoto Toshio 1973--1984) (Tokyo: Shinchosha, 1991), pl. 153.
Arimoto's student trip to Italy in 1971 was his aesthetic coup de foudre. He abandoned abstraction and transmuted his Eastern and Western sensibilities into a singular blend of Renaissance idiom and technique and traditional Japanese painting in mineral pigments. His experiment culminated in "My Piero della Francesca," his thesis painting at Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music. He called his dog "Siena."
The head of the figure in this painting is a virtual cousin to the portraits of Sigismondo Malatesta by Piero (c. 1415-1492) in Rimini and in the Louvre. The irregular lines in the green background are purposeful pentimenti. Arimoto explained in his diary that he discarded left-over paint onto blank canvases. When the paint becomes stains and takes on shape, he wrote, the canvases call me and I begin.