In December of 1932, Kotaro Migishi was greatly shocked by the "Paris-Tokyo New Arts Alliance Exhibition" in which French avant-garde art works were displayed. He saw the radical French arts, like surrealism, and found in this arts that the French spirit that had been handed down, and which reminded him of Cezanne and Renoir. He described his impression this way. "No matter how the French avant-garde arts develop, the beauty seen in the paintings will never be lost." Before he viewed this exhibition, Migishi, who was influenced by Fauvism, had been painted many clowns by copying Rouault's method of using paints heavily. However, from the year after this exhibition, he began to create a series of paintings named "Composition", in which abstract shapes were combined, and he also created surrealistic paintings in which he painted heavily and then added scratches with a nail to create interesting lines. This "Composition; Still Life with Fireplace" is one of those works.
In all paintings, we find abundant poetic sentiment, light esprit, and slight humor, and these are all expressed in this painting. After this painting, he created the best Japanese surrealistic works, such as "Ocean and Sunshine", but, just when he was being looked to as a hope for the future, he suddenly died at the young age of 31.
(Source: Selected Works from the Collection of Nagoya City Art Museum, 1998, P. 111.)


  • Title: Composition: Still Life with Fireplace
  • Creator: Kotaro Migishi
  • Date Created: 1933
  • Location: Japan
  • Physical Dimensions: 46.0×53.5 cm
  • Provenance: Purchased in 1985
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Nagoya City Art Museum
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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