Lot 24
  • 24

Chaim Soutine

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Description

  • Chaïm Soutine
  • LE CHASSEUR DE CHEZ MAXIM's
  • Signed Soutine (lower left)
  • Oil on canvas

Provenance

Jos. Hessel, Paris
Georges Renand, Paris (acquired from the above in 1933 and until February 1949)
Georges Schick, Paris (acquired in February 1949)
Raphael Gérard
Jacques Lindon, New York
Baronne Alix de Rothschild, Paris (acquired by 1958 and sold: Christie’s, London, June 27, 1978, lot 67)
Charles L. Tabachnick, Toronto (June 1978 – October 1980)
Acquired from the above in October 1980

Exhibited

Paris, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Depuis Bonnard, 1957, no. 165
Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Exposition universelle et internationale de Bruxelles, 50 ans d’art moderne, 1958, no. 310
Paris, Galerie Charpentier, Cent tableaux de Soutine, 1959, no. 85
Munich, Haus der Kunst, Von Bonnard bis Heute. Meisterwerke aus französischem Privatbesitz, 1961, no. 101
London, The Tate Gallery, Chaim Soutine, 1963, no. 38
Jerusalem, Israel Museum, Soutine, 1968, no. 38
London, Royal Academy of Arts, French Paintings Since 1900. From Private Collections in France, 1969, no. 132
Munich, Haus der Kunst & Paris, Musée National d’Art Moderne, L’Expressionnisme européen, 1970, no. 57
Tel Aviv, The Tel Aviv Museum, French Masters of the Twentieth Century, 1971, no. 73
Louisville, Speed Art Museum, Corot to Picasso: French Drawings and Paintings at the Speed Art Museum, 2002-03

Literature

Maximilien Gauthier, Art Vivant, May 15th, Paris, 1930, p. 417, possibly mentioned
Françoise Choay, “50 ans d’art moderne à Bruxelles,” L’Œil,  April 1958, discussed p. 108
Bernard Dorival, “La Vie des musées. Nouvelles acquisitions, Musée National d’Art Moderne,” Revue des Arts, April-May 1959, discussed p. 224
Pierre Cabanne, “A la Galerie Charpentier: Soutine en 119 toiles,”  Arts, Paris, June 4-30, 1959, discussed p. 16
Gabriel Talphir, “Chaim Soutine,” Gazith, Art and Literary Journal, Tel Aviv, August-September 1959, pl. 14, illustrated
Waldemar George, Soutine, Paris, 1959, illustrated on the cover
Emile Langui, Fifty Years of Modern Art, New York, 1959, no. 300, illustrated
Bernard Dorival, L’Ecole de Paris au Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, 1961, discussed p. 216
Andrew Forge, Soutine, London, 1965, no. 33, illustrated pp. 24, 41-42
Sydney Goodsir Smith, “Works by Contrasting Masters”, in The Scotsman, Edinburgh, August 19, 1963, mentioned
“Modigliani and Soutine – Two Painters of the Twentieth Century,” Illustrated London News, September 14, 1963, illustrated p. 389
David Sylvester, “Soutine”, in The Sunday Times Colour Magazine, London, September 15, 1963, illustrated p. 8
Elder T. Dickson, “International and Scottish Painting at the Edinburgh Festival”, in Studio International, London, November 1963, discussed p. 205
Joseph Rykwert, “A Londra le mostre di Klee, Soutine, Modigliani,” Domus, Milan, December 1963, illustrated p. 56
Marcellin Castaing & Jean Leymarie, Soutine, Paris & Lausanne, 1963, discussed p. 26
Maurice Tuchman, “Portraits de Soutine,”  Art de France, Paris, 1964, mentioned pp. 214-15
Raymond Cogniat, “The Collection of Baroness Alix de Rothschild,”  Studio International, vol. 169, no. 863, March 1965, illustrated p. 115
Renata Negri, Soutine, Milan, 1966, no. 9, illustrated
Henri Serouya, Soutine, Paris, 1967, illustrated pl. IX
Painting in France, 1900-1967 (exhibition catalogue), National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1968, mentioned p. 24
Philip James, “The School of Paris. The Royal Academy Show,” Apollo, October 1969, illustrated p. 339 and pl. 10
Bernard S. Meyers (ed.), McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Art, New York & London, 1969, vol. 5, illustrated p. 215
Joseph-Emile Muller, “L’Expressionnisme européen,” XXe Siècle, December 1970, illustrated p. 163
Pierre Courthion, Soutine. Peintre du déchirant, Lausanne, 1972, illustrated p. 277A
Alfred Werner, Chaim Soutine, New York, 1977, mentioned p. 80
Maurice Tuchman, Esti Dunow & Klaus Perls, Chaim Soutine, Catalogue raisonné, vol. II, Cologne, 1993, no. 90, illustrated p. 647

Catalogue Note

On the right bank of the Seine on the rue Royale is the restaurant Maxim's, the place of employment of the figure immortalized in Le chasseur de chez Maxim's.  Maxim's was founded in 1893 by a former waiter, Maxime Gaillard, who anglicized his name and created one of the smartest establishments of the Belle Epoque.   Known for its refined French cooking and art nouveau décor, Maxim's was the gathering place for the elite, and by the 1920s, its lofty reputation was still attracting those from the most fashionable echelons of Parisian society.   Soutine was among those who frequented Maxim's, but his interest in this setting was piqued more by those who worked at this establishment than those who dined there.  Rather than depicting the international set of ladies and gentlemen who reveled in the wild nightlife of Paris, as Toulouse-Lautrec had done thirty years earlier, Soutine recognized that the life blood of this culture was the working class, like this modest page in his dapper uniform.

Soutine was fascinated with the appearance of uniformed figures, and beginning in 1925 he executed a number of paintings of valets, chefs, cooks and servants. The present work is closely related to the monumental full-length portrait of the same title at the Albright Knox Museum in Buffalo (see fig. 1), probably depicting the same page boy, as well as to Le Groom, now in the collection of the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris (see fig. 2). Unlike the fragile sitters in the two companion pieces, the boy in the present painting demonstrates a more solid figure, occupying the entire canvas in his upright, more self-assured pose. The unusual confidence of the sitter is echoed by the boldness of brush strokes and vividly contrasting color planes of bright red of the uniform, and the deep blue tones of the background.

Maurice Tuchman has written the following about these pictures:  “Soutine’s involvement with uniformed figures, seen already with the pastry cooks [see fig. 3], continues in the paintings of 1925-29, in which we encounter choir boys, cooks, and hotel employees. The impulse to group colors into broad self-contained areas makes the uniform an attractive motif for Soutine. The uniform provides a ready-made surface of large, flat shapes of color. Each color is isolated into its own field, within which variations or nuancing occur. Red seems to be the dominant color (note the choir boys, grooms, and hotel figures), with blue, white, and black following” (Maurice Tuchman, Este Dunow & Klaus Perls, op. cit., pp. 511-12).

 

 

 

 

Fig. 1, Chaim Soutine, Le Chasseur de chez Maxim’s, circa 1925, oil on canvas, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York   

Fig. 2, Chaim Soutine, Le Groom, circa 1925, oil on canvas, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris    

Fig. 3, Chaim Soutine, Le Pâtissier au mouchoir rouge, circa 1922-23, oil on canvas, Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris           

 

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