Marcestel Squarciafichi and his work "Japanese Mythology"
Marc Antoine Squarciafichi, called Marcestel, was born in Paris on February 26, 1943. In 1968, he obtained a degree in Economic Sciences at the University of Paris and degrees in Russian and Chinese at the University of Oriental Languages, also in Paris. This was followed by National Service attached to the French Embassy in Laos. In 1969 he returned to Paris, becoming secretary to Maurice Schumann, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In 1970 he voyaged to India, Cambodia, and Japan. There he visited World's Fair in Osaka, where he met the famous artist Okamoto Taro. In Kyoto, in the Shrine of Kiyomizu, he encountered paintings made with Chinese ink on Japanese paper. The osmosis of colors of this technique convinced him to stop his diplomatic career and to become an artist, trying for the same effect on canvas with oil paint. Although he studied for a short time in the architecture workshop, Zavaroni, at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris and studied interior decoration at the Nissim Museum of Camondo, he is a self-taught painter.
At the invitation of the Kobe Newspaper, he organized with his sister-in-law, Yoko Urabe-Squarciafichi, for the Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III of Monaco, their visit to Japan. Marcestel lives in Hong Kong now, but lived for many years in Japan. He was able to teach himself Japanese using a book about mythology, which was written using Kanji with the Japanese phonetic spelling, Hiragana, above each character.