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Robert Cadot


Contemporary symbolist approach


Ukiyo-e, the sublime evocation of a floating, ephemeral world, had the capacity to breathe life into its portraits of everyday life with such intensity, such finesse and such sensuality that it offers a vision which could almost be eternal. Above and beyond any scenery, any decor, any gesture represented, ukiyo-e seems to have had the extraordinary ability to transmute the ephemeral into moments which are remembered forever. Even if it places its emphasis on instantaneous events, the pictorial prowess of this school immediately invites contemplation. In this way, the floating and ephemeral world brings to mind the sakura period, whose short duration in time perhaps accentuates the persistence of its beauty in the enduring memories of anyone who has admired its blossoming. How could so many flowers, floating on the wind and that give passersby the sensation of floating, in fact erase themselves from memory. The passersby are thus no longer passersby but finally stop and find there an opportunity to contemplate what is eternal in the ephemeral. Just like the short season of sakura, ukiyo-e shares the same power, the same charm, galvanizing space and time, highlighting these because they have no equal.

It is primarily to pay homage to this unique period in the history of art that is ukiyo-e that I undertook the project entitled Tribute to ukiyo-e. This tribute, as a source of inspiration, and as insistence that I step out into the footsteps of the grand masters of this majestic period in art history, has, so to speak, pushed me to collect portions of works and to sketch and paint as if I were, in fact, taking notes and tuning into something unique and vibrant.

My personal journey had already led me to develop a strong interest in ukiyo-e. A previous project, Encounter, based on an intertwining of works of great masters, had allowed me to link for example Utamaro (Lovers on the Balcony) to Manet (The Luncheon on the Grass), or Hokusai with Géricault and Ucello, or of course Hiroshige with Van Gogh. This game of pairing had already introduced me to the universe of ukiyo-e, when, while traveling in Japan, my visits to the ukiyo-e museum in Matsumoto, the Hiroshige museum in Ena, and the Tokaido museum in Yui (Shizuoka) further nourished my deep fascination for this art form, and I decided to undertake a small series of studies and interpretations consisting of fifteen or so drawings and paintings. Concerning drawings, you will find pencil sketches bringing to mind certain stations of Tokaido by Hiroshige, some interpretations of portions of works by Utamaro, Suzuki Harushige, Yoshitoshi Tsukioka, and Isoda Koryûsai. It was with immense joy that I was able, in a way, to initiate myself to their ways and to observe the powerful harmony with which they created their works. This project, Tribute to ukiyo-e, could never end, or at least may integrate itself in its way into all subsequent projects, as if this voyage into the universe of the floating world were the product of unforgettable encounters.


  1. Inspiration of Courtesan Yosooi of Matsubaya of Kitagawa Utamaro.
    Oil on canvas, 76 cm X 1,22 m, 2014.

  2. Imbrication of The fifth station of the Tokaidô (Totsuka-juku) of Utagawa Hiroshige, and different paintings from Vincent Van Gogh (Selfportrait, Docteur Gachet portrait, Auvers-sur-Oise church).
    Oil on canvas (triptych), 76 cm X 1,4 m, 2006.

  3. Imbrication of The battle of San-Romano, Paolo Ucello, and The charging chasseur, Théophile Géricault, and The poet Teba on horse, Katsushika Hokusai.
    Oil on painting, 89 cm X 1,78 m, 2007.

  4. Imbrication of Utamakura, Kitagawa Utamaro, and The luncheon on the grass (le déjeuner sur l’herbe), Édouard Manet.
    Oil on painting, 76 cm X 1,02 m, 2011.

  5. Imbrication of Villagers crossing a bridge, Hokusai; The thirteenth station of Tokaido (Hara-juku), Hiroshige; Two lovers sharing the same dream, Kôryusai; The first dream, Utagawa Toyokuni.
    Oil on canvas, 51 X 71 cm, 2014.

  6. Inspiration of Geisha playing go, Kakukawa Eizan.
    Oil on canvas, 89 X 89 cm, 2015.

  7. Interpretation of Hayaku yoi o sama-shitai, Utagawa Kuniyoshi.
    Oil on canvas, 89 X 89 cm, 2015.

  8. Interpretation of the ninth month from the series Twelve Months in the South, Torii Kiyonaga.
    Oil on canvas, 89 X 89 cm, 2016.

  9. Interpretation of poème de la jeunesse, Katsushika Hokusai.
    Oil on canvas, 89 X 89 cm, 2016.

  10. Interpretation of The Six Crystal Rivers : Kôya, Kubo Shunman.
    Oil on canvas, 89 X 89 cm, 2016.

  11. Interpretation/encounter of Sudden Shower over Shin-Ôhashi bridge and Atake, Utagawa Hiroshige ; The Starry Night, Vincent Van Gogh.
    Oil on canvas, 89 X 89 cm, 2017.

  12. Interpretation of Kanzan and Jittoku, Suzuki Harunobu.
    Oil on canvas, 89 X 89 cm, 2017.

  13. Interpretation of various creations of Suzuki Harunobu.
    Oil on canvas, 89 X 89 cm, 2017.


  1. Interpretation of Snow, moon and flowers: The moon over Shinagawa, Suzuki Harushige
    Pencil drawing, 21 cm X 30 cm, 2008.

  2. Study of Asa no Fuji, Utagawa Hiroshige
    Pencil drawing, 12 X 15cm, 2010.

  3. Interpretation of Hodogaya, Utagawa Hiroshige
    Pencil drawing, 12 X 15 cm, 2013.

  4. Interpretation of Hamamatsu, Utagawa Hiroshige
    Pencil drawing, 12 X 15cm, 2013.

  5. Interpretation of Nihonbashi, Utagawa Hiroshige
    Pencil drawing, 11,8 X 11,3, 2013.

  6. Interpretation of Totsuka, Utagawa Hiroshige
    Pencil drawing, 12 X 15cm, 2013.

  7. Interpretation of various creations of Yoshitoshi Tsukioka
    Pencil drawing, 12 X 15cm, 2013.

  8. Interpretation of Couple et femmes au parasol, Kitagawa Utamaro
    Pencil drawing, 11,2 X 15cm, 2013.

  9. Study of Mishima, Utagawa Hiroshige
    Pencil drawing, 12cm X 15cm, 2013.

  10. Study of Three Beauties of the Present Day, Kitagawa Utamaro
    Pencil drawing, 12 X 15cm, 2013.

  11. Interpretation of various creations of Kitagawa Utamaro
    Pencil drawing, 11,2 X 15cm, 2013.

  12. Study of Two Women on a Balcony of Kitagawa Utamaro
    Pencil drawing, 11,2 X 15cm, 2013.

  13. Interpretation of Parakeet in the morning mist, Isoda Koryûsai
    Pencil drawing, 11,2 X 15 cm, 2014.

  14. Interpretation of Fireworks at Ryôgoku Bridge, Utagawa Toyokuni
    Pencil drawing, 11,5 X 15 cm, 2015.

  15. Interpretation of a detail of Dit du Genji, Utagawa Toyokuni
    Pencil drawing, 10 X 15 cm, 2015.

  16. Study of Musume hidokei, Tatsu no koku, Kitagawa Utamaro
    Pencil drawing, 11,2 X 15 cm, 2015.