Like the other artists, Foujita seeks and finds the ideal woman in Montparnasse. He marries Fernande and paints nudes of Kiki. The whiteness of Lucienne's skin brings to him a new artistic impulse. He nicknames her Youki which means Little snow.
Now his paintings must present the expressionist effect of the perfect woman. He covers the canvas with white or ivory paint on which he draws the nude in ink by a thin and sharp line before completing the work by the transparent color of skin and hair.
The hedonistic life of Montparnasse does not invite to fidelity. In 1930 Youki leaves Foujita for loving Desnos. The painter nevertheless continues his aesthetic quest and copies a 1924 modello showing Youki sleeping naked on a bed with her arm and her long hair carelessly flowing to the floor.
The ideal and diaphanous woman occupies the upper part of the picture. In the foreground, the strong point is a recumbent cat bringing a high contrast in density along with the opposition of his bright gaze with the inactive attitude of the sleeping goddess.
This large size artwork 98 x 163 cm was sold for £ 1.2 million including premium by Sotheby's on February 5, 2014. It is estimated HK $ 20M for sale by Sotheby's in Hong Kong on April 3, lot 1035.
SOLD for HK$ 39M including premium