Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita (1886-1968, Japanese-French)

Foujita with cat photoLeonard Tsuguharu Foujita (1886-1968, Japanese-French) was a painter and print-maker and a well-known lover of cats.  His works skillfully mix traditional Japanese styles with the trend of the time, European Modernism.  Born in Tokyo, Foujita studied western art at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, graduating in 1910.  Three years later he traveled to Paris where he met Picasso, Modigliani , Matisse, Fernand Léger and Jacques Cocteau, with whom he shared a love of cats.  

Jean Cocteau and Foujita with Cat Show Winner, Paris Nov. 3, 1950

Jean Cocteau and Foujita with Cat Show Winner, Paris Nov. 3, 1950




He was able to make a great deal of money during his lifetime through his eclectic style of painting nudes and cats.  In 1925, he was awarded the Belgian Order of Leopold.  In 1931, he traveled to South America where he was a huge success.  During WWII, Foujita lived in Japan where he helped produce war propaganda, and because of this, he was later labeled a fascist imperialist.  He left Japan after the war and returned to France where he converted to Catholicism.  At the age of 80 he designed and had built the Foujita Chapel in Reims, France, which was completed in 1966.  Foujita died of cancer in Zurich, Switzerland, and was initially buried in the Cimetière de Villiers-le-Bâcle, France, but was later moved to the burial ground of the Foujita Chapel.


Foujita with Cat on Desk

Foujita’s love of cats spanned his entire lifetime. The majority of his works either center on cats or include cats in the composition. He published a Book of Cats in 1930 which includes 20 etched plate drawings. This book is considered one of the top five hundred rare books ever sold.  


Foujita and Cat, 1928


When interviewed by the Milwaukee Journal in 1935, Foujita stated, “Ladies who would be alluring to men should surround themselves with cats…I never look at men, only at women—they have, each one such marvelous possibilities of beauty.  But unfortunately most of them have not developed these possibilities because they have not learned the lessons cats can teach…” The good and bad qualities of cats closely resemble the attributes of women.  “Cats never give anything away.  They are out for what they can get.  They have tigerish passions when aroused.  They have grace, beauty of movement, intriguing languor. Cats are never in a hurry, never angular.  They move softly, gently, insinuatingly.  Clever women live with cats…They study the animal’s movements, habits and emotional reactions…”  


Lucie Badoud, model and muse, Leonard Foujita

Lucie Badoud, model and muse



Black and White Cat, 1920, Foujita

Black and White Cat, 1920



Cat and Monkey, Foujita, 1947

Cat and Monkey, 1947



Cat by Tsuguharu Foujita. Etching, 1920.

Cat Etching, 1920



Cat Lying Down, Leonard Foujita

Cat Lying Down

Cat on a Letter, Foujita

Cat on a Letter



cat with kitten 1929, Foujita

Cat and Kitten, 1929



Cat with Stomach Up, 1929 Foujita

Cat with Stomach Up, 1929




Cat, 1926 Leonard Foujita

Cat, 1926



Cat, Tsugouharu Foujita



chat en rond by léonard tsuguharu foujita



Chatte et chaton, Foujita



Clowder of Cat, Leonard Foujita

Clowder of Cats



Couturier Cat, 1927, Leonard Foujita

Couturier Cat, 1927

Foujita, cat







from A Book of Cats, 1930 Leonard Tsugoharu Foujita

From A Book of Cats, 1930



Fujita Tsuguharu (Leonard Foujita) A Book of Cats Sappho

A Book of Cats, Sappho



Kitten, 1929 Foujita

Kitten, 1929



Kitten, Leonard Foujita



Leonard Foujita, Black and White Cat

Black and White Cat




Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita, Red Cat Sitting (Chat Roux Assis), 1930.

Red Cat Sitting (Chat Roux Assis), 1930



Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita. Kitten trying to be Good.

Kitten trying to be Good




Cat and Kitten, Chatte et Chaton



Mother and Kitten, Foujita

Mother and Kitten



Orange Tabby Cat, Leonard Tsugouharu Foujita

Orange Tabby Cat



Seated Cat, Tsugouharu Foujita

Seated Cat



Sleeping Cat, 1929 Foujita

Sleeping Cat, 1929



Sleeping Cat, Leonard Foujita, 1926

Sleeping Cat, 1926



Sleeping Kitten, Leonard Foujita

Sleeping Kitten



Tabby Kitten, Leonard Foujita



Three Cats Fighting over a Fish, 1932, Tsugouharu Foujita

Three Cats Fighting over a Fish, 1932



Three Cats, Tsugouharu Foujita

Three Cats



Tsugouharu Foujita, Cat Sketch

Cat Sketch



Tsugouharu Foujita, Cats




Tsugouharu Foujita, Two Kittens




Tsugouhoru Foujita (1886-1968), 1918, Reclining Cat, oil on canvas.

Reclining Cat, 1918



Tsuguharu Foujita, Cat 1929

Cat ,1929



Tsuguharu Foujita, Les Chats, 1930.

Les Chats, 1930



Tsuguharu Foujita, Two Cats

Two Cats



Tsuguharu Fujita



Two Cats, Foujita



Two Sleeping Kittens, Tsugouharu Foujita

Two Sleeping Kittens



White and Black Cat, Tsugouharu Leonard Foujita



White Cat, Tsugouharu Foujita



White cat on Red Background, 1926 Foujita

White cat on Red Background, 1926



Black Cat on Red Stone, Foujita

Black Cat on Red Stone



Cat with Kittens, Leonard Foujita

Cat with Kittens



Tsuguharu Foujita, Cat on Blue Background

Cat on Blue Background



Cat Sleeping on a Chair, Foujita

Cat Sleeping on a Chair



Paleroyal, 1951, Tsugouharu Foujita

Paleroyal, 1951



Vendôme, 1951, Leonard Foujita

Vendôme, 1951



Foujita, 1922, Portrait of Emily Crane Chadbourne

Portrait of Emily Crane Chadbourne, 1922



My Dream (1947) – Tsuguharu Foujita

My Dream, 1947



Nude woman and cat, Foujita

Nude Woman and Cat



Nude Woman with Cats, Foujita



Tsuguharu Foujita - Dame aux chats

Dame aux chats



Woman and Cat, 1937 Leonard Foujita

Woman and Cat, 1937



Woman Holding a Cat, Tsugouharu Foujita

Woman Holding a Cat



Youki and cat, Leonard Foujita

Youki and cat



Girl Holding a Cat, Foujita

Girl Holding a Cat



Foujita Self Portrait 1926

Self-portrait, 1926



Self portrait with cat, Foujita



Self portrait, Foujita with Cat on Back




Photo of Foujita with Cat in Lap

Want to know more about the cat in art, history and literature?  Then Revered and Reviled is the book for you.  Now available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. 


Revered and Reviled: A Complete History of the Domestic Cat, cat history, cats





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