拡大《Girl of Bréhat》

    KURODA Seiki

    《Girl of Bréhat》

    1891  Oil on canvas

    In September, 1891, Kuroda Seiki, who was studying in Paris, was invited by his friends the artists Kume Kei’ichiro and Kawakita Michisuke to join them on a sketching trip to the island of Bréhat, off the coast of Brittany. Enjoying the island’s picturesque scenery and the company of like-minded artists who had traveled there for the same purpose, Kuroda wrote his father back in Japan, “It is the Western Paradise.” During three fulfilling weeks there, he produced this painting of a girl he hired as a model. Her fierce gaze, messy hair, the vividness of the yellow piece of cloth she is holding, the difference in size of her left and right shoes, the broken bowl on the chair: the brushwork is intense and swift. This work is studded with elements unlike Kuroda’s usually tranquil paintings, expressing the eruption of the passions stirring within him.
    Strapped for cash to live on while in Paris, Kuroda sold the painting to the art dealer Hayashi Tadamasa, who was confident that Kuroda had promise. After Hayashi’s death, in Japan, the painting was acquired by Yamanaka & Co., Ltd., an Osaka antique and art dealer. Kuroda’s widow, Teruko, then purchased it at auction. Dedicated to ensuring that her late husband would continue to be honored, she sold the painting to Ishibashi Shojiro when the Bridgestone Museum of Art opened after World War II. It was her wish that Kuroda’s work could always be seen in a museum in city center. This painting has many emotional associations.

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    《Girl of Bréhat》