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Thursday, February 28, 2013

French Cubist Sculpture in Marunouchi

アンリ・ローランス 彫刻

Hakone, a mountainous resort area about 50 miles south-west of Tokyo, has many art-related attractions, one of them being the Hakone Open-Air Museum Collection.

Henri Laurens sculpture, Femme Debout, in Marunouchi, Tokyo.

It's a little odd that some of the Hakone Open-Air Museum Collection is to be found in the heart of Tokyo, but the other day I happened upon it, in Tokyo's central business district of Marunouchi, not far from Tokyo Station.

 Gracing the clean, dazzling boulevard that runs through the sleek towers of Marunouchi is the sculpture "Femme Debout" (or, "Woman Standing") wrought in 1928 by the French Cubist sculptor, Henri Laurens (1885 – 1954).

Femme Debout exudes a strong sense of the mythical with her robust nakedness - think ancient Greece meets the Amazon - semi-draped by only a cascade of hair to her right and a cloak hung on her left arm.

She seems a somewhat lonely presence: naked staunchness against a background of haute couture boutiques and a vista of tiny twinkling lights adorning the trees. It is no doubt appropriate that she was installed there by Mitsubishi Jisho, (Mitsubishi Real Estate), a leading company in real estate: a sector that is currently enjoying vigorous growth in Japan, especially Tokyo.

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