拡大《Woman with a Pumpkin》

    KISHIDA Ryusei

    《Woman with a Pumpkin》

    1914  Oil on canvas

    Kishida Ryusei began studying, at seventeen, at the Aoibashi Western Painting Institute, which Kuroda Seiki directed. His abilities emerged swiftly; two years later, he was selected to show in the fourth Bunten exhibition. Encountering the literary magazine Shirakaba, he interacted with its publishers, through whom he learned about Post-Impressionism and Fauvism, which had a great impact on his style. In 1912 he organized the Fusain-kai. In 1913, he married Shigeru and moved to Yoyogi. After the Fusain-kai disbanded, Ryusei, strongly inclined to the work of Dürer and Renaissance paintings, pursued his own realistic style.
    From the inscription on the lower right, we know that this painting was completed on July 6, 1914. His model was, it is said, his wife, about three months after the birth of their daughter Reiko. But her face lacks individuality; instead, she is depicted as a goddess symbolizing the earth and the harvest. This painting, with the arch at the top, suggests a Renaissance religious painting. When Ryusei showed it at a solo exhibition that October, Ishii Hakutei criticized it harshly, saying, “I can’t relate to it at all. However, the red earth, green grass and the road leading on to the blue sky in the background of this painting shares the similar artistic approach and theme with his masterpiece, Road Cut Through a Hill (1915, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo) and his Red Earth and Plants (Road with Red Earth and Plants) (1915, Hamamatsu Municipal Museum of Art), whose title inspired Ryusei to from the Sodosha (plants and earth society) in 1915. Moreover, this painting foretold his artistic developments to come.

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    《Woman with a Pumpkin》