Christie’s Helps Musée Ando À Karuizawa Acquire Foujita Masterpiece

Christie’s Private Sales Department has facilitated the acquisition of Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita’s Classe de Chats by the Musée Ando à Karuizawa, the first private museum in Japan dedicated to the works of the artist.

The painting is a major piece by Foujita and is currently on display at the museum’s exhibition, Tsuguharu Foujita: Room for Cats and Girls, until Tuesday, 12 September 2023. It’s the first time that the painting has been exhibited publicly since 1989.

Cats in Foujita’s Art

Foujita had a personal affinity for cats, which was evident in his art. He portrayed them with tenderness in various settings – on their own, as companions in portraiture, and even as anthropomorphic animals in lively scenes. As a child, he was fascinated by animals with humanlike qualities depicted in myths.

The portrayal of animals with human traits was also prevalent in Western sources, such as La Fontaine’s Fables. Foujita’s Classe de Chats is considered one of his masterpieces and was painted during his one-year stay in New York in 1949.

Christie's Helps Musée Ando À Karuizawa Acquire Foujita Masterpiece

It was also included in the solo exhibition at Mathias Komor Gallery that same year, which became the talk of the town. A New York paper declared that “no living artist can depict cats in action whilst capturing such variety of expression.”

Musée Ando à Karuizawa

The museum opened in October 2022 and is located in Karuizawa, a mountain resort area near Tokyo. The collection consists of approximately 200 works by Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita, a prominent painter of the École de Paris.

The works belong to Yasushi and Megumi Ando, who collected them over the past 20 years and displayed them in their Tokyo residences. The museum’s philosophy is to invite visitors into the collector’s home to experience the incredible works in a comfortable, contemporary setting.

Christie’s Private Sales

Christie’s Private Sales Department connects buyers and sellers of artwork outside of the auction room through private sales and selling exhibitions.

The department offers private sales year-round in various categories, including Impressionist & Modern Art, Post-War & Contemporary Art, American Art, Latin American Art, Old Master Paintings, Prints, Furniture & Decorative Art, Asian Art, Jewelry, and Watches.

By providing private sales, Christie’s enables buyers and sellers to connect and acquire works of art in a more private and intimate manner.

Images: Christie’s