Born in Tokyo, Foujita moved to Paris when he was twenty-seven and met such avant-garde artists as Modigliani, Soutine, Fernand Leger, Juan Gris, Picasso and Matisse. Foujita quickly became known for his paintings and watercolours of elegant women and domestic cats. He created a style in which Japanese and western modernist influences subtly came together. In the early nineteen thirties he travelled to Latin and South America. He then divided his time between Paris and Tokyo, while visiting various other European countries. In 1950 he settled permanently in France and became a French citizen in 1955. He also became a Catholic and took the name Léonard, after Leonardo da Vinci. His last major work was the decoration of a chapel in Reims, which he had designed and which was consecrated in 1966.