Travellers by Eikyu

1957 (Showa 32)

Lithograph on paper

Eikyu (1911–1960) was a genuine modernist, and one of the true pioneers of avant-garde art in Japan. Having little regard for tradition or convention, he was never formally trained in drafting or etching, and developed his artistic skills independently. Throughout his life, he maintained a free, childlike and experimental approach to painting; his fearless originality had a great influence on other artists who came after.

Travellers depicts a dark forest, with several small figures wandering among several large, colourful balloon-like objects. The stark contrast between the dim, shadowy background and bright patches of colour in the foreground gives the painting a fantastical, fairytale-like air.