“Birthday” for £ 7m. Set a record for Leonara Fujita

Auction house Bonhams set a world record for the work of Leonard Fujita - Japanese-French artist of the first half of the XX century. At the sale of the Impressionist and Modernist art in London, the birthday masterpiece went under the hammer for 7.1 million pounds sterling (9.3 million US dollars). At the same time a preliminary estimate of the canvas was 900 thousand - 1.3 million pounds sterling.The painting has not been exhibited publicly since 1950 and has never been offered at auction before. Eight connoisseurs fought on the phone at once. “Birthday is an extremely important work of Fujita’s main career period,” said Bonhams spokesman India Phillips.

Leonard Fujita, Self-Portrait (1931). National Museum of Fine Arts, Argentina
Zuguharu Fujita or Léonard Foujita (1886, Tokyo - 1968, Zürich) stands alone among the modernists of the first quarter of the twentieth century. Coming from an aristocratic Japanese family, he graduated from the Tokyo Graduate School of Fine Arts and in 1913 went to France. In Paris, the painter met with representatives of the creative avant-garde, but if he belonged to this circle, then rather, by coincidence of time, place and mutual sympathy, but not by the method of work. Superficial enthusiasm for the ideas of cubists, futurists and surrealists left very few noticeable traces in his creative heritage.

Fujita wanted to rethink the Japanese pictorial tradition through the prism of Western European realism, but did not seek to merge and fully identify itself with Western culture. Absorbing her values, he cultivated his own unique traits both in art and everyday life, remaining Japanese in his worldview. Read artist biography here.Zuguhar Fujita's birthday (Léonard Fujita) 1949, 101.7 cm “Birthday” is one of a series of Fujita works written in 1949 in New York in honor of the 17th century writer Jean de La Fontaine. The basis for the famous fables of the Frenchman were Western and Oriental tales, which perfectly corresponded to the similar works of the Japanese. In addition, the artist attracted a sense of innocence and joy in fairy tales. Later he said: “As a reaction to cruel times, I dealt with the most endearing, even childish themes.”
“Birthday” is a great example of high style that Fujita developed in New York. A genre scene depicting a birthday party - with a cake and candles - where family members appear as different animals. In the background, the artist made a reference to his own work - an outline of charcoal for one of his famous nude series. The picture hangs over the patriarchal figures of a dog, a chicken with chickens and a cat.Leonar Fujita, “The Goddess of Snow” (1924) According to Phillips of India, this complex composition was created using very thin layers of glaze applied to the thinnest canvas, and resembles Japanese porcelain, which inspired Fujita for a long time. A strange and powerful work, written at the time of the artist's revival, demonstrates the grandiose explosion of creativity and technical skill that Fujita enjoyed at the time. "In March 2017, a buyer at Sotheby's auctioned out £ 608,000 at an estimate of 280,000 for the canvas by Leonara Fujita “Yuki with a Cat” (1923). few selected works. The frame transferred images from the birthday table - serving spoons, knives and bottle opener. The scene was an exhibit at the Fujita solo exhibition in 1949 at the Mathias Komor Gallery, and in 1950 went to Paris for his important retrospective at the Galerie Paul Pétrides. On the last day of the exhibition a canvas was bought by a private French collector. It remained in a private meeting for almost 70 years and did not appear in public. Arthiv: read us in the Telegram and see on Instagram
According to the official website of the auction house Bonhams and Artdaily