Mathurin Méheut et le Japon
Elisabeth, Hélène and Patrick Jude
Elisabeth and Hélène left to Japan in March 2003. Their travel notes– stories about the luggage, planes, hotels, appointments they were late at – are hardly what we would call breathtaking. The rest is a lot more for the two women went on their great grand-father’s footsteps, painter Mathurin Méheut (1882-1958), who spent various months there in 1914. He left in April 1914, financed by Albert Kahn, the patron of arts who was busy creating his Archives de la planète. The ancestor first made a long stop over in Hawaï to draw the fish from the aquarium. Once he got to his destination, he sketched and drew all he could set his eyes on: landscapes, animals, temples and daily life, Nö theatre and cherry trees in blossom. At the end of August, when war was declared, he had to rush back home (after a month of sailing nevertheless) and experiences a true nightmare when he takes his place in the trenches in Arras on 17 October. He would never go back East but throughout his life he preserved the Japanese touch of his youth and a strong liking for natural sciences.
Review published in the newsletter #259 - from 17 May 2012 to 23 May 2012