Edogawa Tokio 1886 - 1968 Paris
Autoportrait à la pipe
Pencil drawing on two pieces of very light Japan paper, mounted on firmer cream-coloured paper support by the artist. 28.2 x 20.6/25.4 cm (33 x 28.5 cm). Framed under glass. Signed and dated 'Foujita Sep.1924' lower right and additionally signed in Japanese. - With foxing.
Belgian private collection; Private collection, North Germany
Léonard-Tsuguharu Foujita, who completed his studies at the Academy in Tokyo, emigrated to Europe early on. Following a stay in London where he worked as a designer for the tradition steeped department store Selfridges, he then permanently settled in Paris. Within only a short period of time he was integrated into the existing artists' community where he stood out not only due to his very own European style influenced by Asian painting tradition but also because of his eccentric appearance.
As is the case with many artists, in Foujita's work the self-portrait, as a continual validation of one's personal position and emotional state, occupies an important space up until old age. Through the collage of the two papers, the present drawing is a graphic example for the process of picture composition as it developed during the preparation for a watercolour painting on silk, whereby the stronger flexion of the right hand in the final version illustrates a greater cohesion of the composition (cf. Sylvie Buisson/Dominique Buisson, Léonard-Tsuguharu Foujita, Paris 1987, vol. 1, cat. no. 24.38, illus. p. 372).