Tsuguharu Foujita (1886-1968)

One of the artists whose work is well-represented in the collection of the Cat Cabinet is the Japanese painter Tsuguharu Foujita. A lover of cats, the 1927 portrait of him and his cat by Dora Kalmus can also be seen at the museum.

Foujita graduated from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music at the age of 24. He moved to Montparnasse, Paris, where he became friends with Juan Fris, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. His career quickly picked up and within just a short while he had himself a studio in Montparnasse and enough money to install a luxurious hot water bathtub which attracted many women to his place, among them Kiki, the model of famous photographer Man Ray. Foujita made a portrait of her called “Reclining Nude with Toile de Jouy”, which was the sensation of Paris at the time. Inspired by the life in Montparnasse, he documented it in much of his work. After his exposition in 1918 he received much fame for his paintings of beautiful women and cats. His original technique, in particular, made his work unique, and he received several honors, among them the Belgian Order of Leopold and the The Legion of Honor from the French government.

Foujita is known over the whole world and much of his work can be found in the Bridgestone Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo. And of course, several works can be found at the Cat Cabinet.