Léonard Tsuhugaru Foujita, Nu couché à la toile de Jouy, 1922
form of the nude body, leaving us to visualise various imaginary spaces. But the work is also imbued with a subtle, elusive sensuality directly inspired by burgeoning Western modernism. Thus the legacy of traditional Chinese painting, of which Sanyu was the «trustee», was combined with the painter’s progress on his aesthetic journey as he came to know the Parisian world. Through the oil on canvas technique – little esteemed by traditional Chinese artists, who preferred coloured ink on paper – Sanyu skilfully married the refinement of the calligraphic stroke with the teaching he received at La Grande Chaumière. He thus created a skilful blend between traditional Chinese art and the modern aesthetic of the Paris School – an unexpected coming-together, which the painter was able to bring to a point of perfection more effectively than any other artist.
Man Ray, Kiki de Montparnasse, 1925