Chaim Soutine

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Chaïm Soutine
Chaim Soutine with signature.jpg
Chaim Soutine (with signature)
Born13 January 1893 (1893-01-13)
Smilavichy, Russian Empire
Died9 August 1943 (1943-08-10) (aged 50)
Paris, France
NationalityBelarusian later French
FieldPainting
TrainingVilna Academy of Fine Arts, École des Beaux-Arts, Fernand Cormon
MovementExpressionism
PatronsAlbert C. Barnes, Leopold Zborowski
 
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Chaïm Soutine
Chaim Soutine with signature.jpg
Chaim Soutine (with signature)
Born13 January 1893 (1893-01-13)
Smilavichy, Russian Empire
Died9 August 1943 (1943-08-10) (aged 50)
Paris, France
NationalityBelarusian later French
FieldPainting
TrainingVilna Academy of Fine Arts, École des Beaux-Arts, Fernand Cormon
MovementExpressionism
PatronsAlbert C. Barnes, Leopold Zborowski

Chaïm Soutine (January 13, 1893 – August 9, 1943) was a French painter of Belarusian Jewish origin. Soutine made a major contribution to the expressionist movement while living in Paris.

Inspired by classic painting in the European tradition, exemplified by the works of Rembrandt, Chardin[1] and Courbet, Soutine developed an individual style more concerned with shape, color, and texture over representation, which served as a bridge between more traditional approaches and the developing form of Abstract Expressionism.

Biography[edit]

Soutine was born Chaim Sutin, in Smilavichy near Minsk, (modern day) Belarus (then part of the Russian Empire). He was the tenth of eleven children. From 1910 to 1913 he studied in Vilnius at the Vilna Academy of Fine Arts. In 1913, with his friends Pinchus Kremegne (1890–1981) and Michel Kikoine (1892–1968), he emigrated to Paris, where he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts under Fernand Cormon. He soon developed a highly personal vision and painting technique.

For a time, he and his friends lived at La Ruche, a residence for struggling artists in Montparnasse where he became friends with Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920). Modigliani painted Soutine's portrait several times, most famously in 1917, on a door of an apartment belonging to Léopold Zborowski (1889–1932), who was their art dealer.[2] Zborowski supported Soutine through World War I, taking the struggling artist with him to Nice to escape the German bombing of Paris.

After the war Paul Guillaume, a highly influential art dealer, began to champion Soutine's work. In 1923, in a showing arranged by Guillaume, the prominent American collector Albert C. Barnes (1872–1951), bought 60 of Soutine's paintings on the spot. Soutine, who had been virtually penniless in his years in Paris, immediately took the money, ran into the street, hailed a Paris taxi, and ordered the driver to take him to Nice, on the French Riviera, more than 400 miles away.

Soutine once horrified his neighbours by keeping an animal carcass in his studio so that he could paint it (Carcass of Beef). The stench drove them to send for the police, whom Soutine promptly lectured on the relative importance of art over hygiene. There's a story that Marc Chagall saw the blood from the carcass leak out onto the corridor outside Soutine's room, and rushed out screaming, 'Someone has killed Soutine.'[3] Soutine painted 10 works in this series, which have since become his most well-known. His carcass paintings were inspired by Rembrandt's still life of the same subject, which he discovered while studying the Old Masters in the Louvre. Soutine produced the majority of his works from 1920 to 1929. From 1930 to 1935, the interior designer Madeleine Castaing and her husband welcomed him to their summer home, the mansion of Lèves, becoming his patrons, so that Soutine could hold his first exhibition in Chicago in 1935. He seldom showed his works, but he did take part in the important exhibition The Origins and Development of International Independent Art held at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume in 1937 in Paris, where he was at last hailed as a great painter. Soon afterwards France was invaded by German troops. As a Jew, Soutine had to escape from the French capital and hide in order to avoid arrest by the Gestapo. He moved from one place to another and was sometimes forced to seek shelter in forests, sleeping outdoors. Suffering from a stomach ulcer and bleeding badly, he left a safe hiding place for Paris in order to undergo emergency surgery, which failed to save his life. On August 9, 1943, Chaim Soutine died of a perforated ulcer. He was interred in Cimetière du Montparnasse, Paris.

Legacy[edit]

In February 2006, an oil painting of his controversial and iconic series Le Boeuf Ecorche (1924) sold for a record £7.8 million ($13.8 million) to an anonymous buyer at a Christie's auction held in London - after it was estimated to fetch £4.8 million. In February 2007, a 1921 portrait of an unidentified man with a red scarf (L'Homme au Foulard Rouge) by Chaim Soutine sold for $17.2 million - a new record - at Sotheby's London auction house.

Some years after Soutine's death, Roald Dahl placed him as a character in his short story Skin.[citation needed]

Paintings of Soutine by Modigliani[edit]

Paintings by Soutine, with gallery listings[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Kleeblatt, 13
  2. ^ Kleeblatt et al., 101
  3. ^ Wullschlager, Jackie (2008). Chagall - Love and Exile. Allen Lane. p. 154. ISBN 978-0-7139-9652-4. 
  4. ^ "?". soutinebeef.com. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]