TSUGOUHARU FUJITA

Painter

The beloved painter of the Roaring Twenties

When arriving in Paris in 1913 from Japan, Foujita was unknown. He soon became an important figure in Montparnasse, and met great success in 1921 with a series of female nude paintings which became the central piece of his work, in parallel to his passion for cats which he drew in a unique manner. Charmer and dandy, he discovered Deauville in 1925 (where he often spent his summer until 1928) and was one of the city’s main figures during the Roaring twenties, alongside Van Dongen and Raoul Dufy. He was invited to Deauville with his wife, Yuki: “I was invited in Deauville with Mistinguett and others at the Hotel Normandy. I was offered to stay as long as I desired and to enjoy the finest meals. The room wasn’t too bad either. The reason was that my presence would attract more people on the beach. I was accused of being a product of advertisement; but it doesn’t matter, because I think there was no true reason for that”.

Foujita was a charmer and used new cinematographic media, Gaumont and Pathé, to enhance his notoriety. He appeared next to fellow celebrities; Mistinguett took him with her to the races; Kiki de Montparnasse posed for him. He was often solicited on the Planches boardwalk and beach by photographers. As he was cooperative, he went swimming in the ocean with Suzy Solidot and cartoonist Marcel Vertés. Another day, he wore a bathing suit covered in playing cards while Suzy Solidor appeared, wearing a fishnet decorated with small oak rectangles.
In his memories Quarante ans de la vie à Deauville (Fasquelle-1952) Michel Georges Michel, famous Deauville reporter wrote: "… earrings on his nose, natural red lips, he walked on his hands to the Bar du Soleil or carried Mistinguett on his shoulders to drink her Cinzano. There was no party without him. He was invited everywhere and he refused. His villa was the prettiest, and so was his wife. His car was the biggest, like Picasso’s crossing Deauville without looking back any more than Miss Yvonne Georges when she sings”.