Title: Tsuguharu Fujita’s “Marvelous creamy white”
Abstract: Japanese artist Tsuguharu Fujita (藤田嗣治, 1886—1968) is a member of the “Paris School” in the early 20th century. He created a kind of oil painting that properly blended water with oil. Fujita demonstrated that both oily and water-based paints can be applied on the same painting by drawing thin lines with ink on an ivory-like creamy white background. In Fujita’s technique, the canvas was mostly covered in creamy white, which was called “marvelous creamy white” by art critics in Paris. His unique oriental painting style drew tremendous admiration from Paris. Fujita was the first Asian artist to succeed in Europe, showing to Europeans the charm of “Japanese style oil painting”. Unlike other Japanese students who simply brought the oil painting techniques they learned in Europe back to Japan, Fujita instead immersed himself in the art revolution in Europe with his own inventions. Through the Fujita phenomenon, we can see the relationship between early 20th century Japanese, Chinese, and European art, and the European attitude towards accepting foreign influence.
Tsuguharu Fujita, “Nude Lady in the Bedroom”,
oil painting on canvas, 130cm ×195cm 1922
Municipal Museum of Modern Art in Paris Collection