Born in Kagoshima he traveled to Paris at the age of eighteen to study law, but encouraged by those around him, he made up his mind to study Western painting instead. His first teacher, Raphäel Collin, was an influential artist who painted in the academic style and he was able to provide Seiki with a comprehensive education in Western art. After returning to Japan, Seiki formed the Hakuba-kai (White Horse Society) while becoming a central figure in teaching at the Western Painting Department at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts and a powerful force in the art world. He met MORI Ogai when they were both judges at the Bunten (Ministry of Education Art Exhibition) and the two became friends in both official and private life.
The work shown here depicts the rear view of the entire body of a woman model posing in the studio. The model is backlit by the sun shining through the window and the artist captures all the subtle variations in the light beautifully. Painted shortly after Seiki began working in oils, this study offers us a valuable opportunity to see the process of his development. In the bottom right-hand corner he is written ‘a mon ami, Foudjishima, Souvenir cordi, Séïki Kouroda’ (To my friend Fujishima, with warm memories, Seiki Kuroda), from which we can presume that it was given as a present to his fellow artist, FUJISHIMA Takeji.


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