Lot 384
  • 384

CHAÏM SOUTINE | Paysage arbreux

400,000 - 600,000 GBP
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  • Chaïm Soutine
  • Paysage arbreux
  • signed Soutine (lower right)
  • oil on canvas
  • 46 by 61cm., 18 1/8 by 24 in.
  • Painted in 1919.


E. & A. Silberman Galleries, New York (sale: Sotheby's, New York, 20th November 1986, lot 49)
Leo Model, New York (purchased at the above sale)
Private Collection, U.S.A. (by descent from the above; sale: Sotheby's, New York, 12th May 1999, lot 315)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner


New York, E. & A. Silberman Galleries, Exhibition 1961, 1961, no. 30
New York, Finch College Museum of Art, French Landscape Painters from Four Centuries, 1965-66, no. 62
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Chaïm Soutine, 1968, no. 11, illustrated in the catalogue
Tokyo, Odakyu Museum & Nara Sogo Museum; Ibaraki, Kasama Nichido Museum & Hokkaido, Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Soutine: Chaïm Soutine Centenary Exhibition, 1992-1993, no. 14, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Lugano, Museo d'Arte Moderna, Chaïm Soutine, 1995, no. 18, illustrated in colour in the catalogue


Pierre Courthion, Soutine: Peintre du Dechirant, Lausanne, 1972, no. 220C, illustrated n.p.
Maurice Tuchman, Esti Dunow & Klaus Perls, Chaïm Soutine (1893-1943): Catalogue raisonné, Cologne, 1993, vol. I, no. 32, illustrated p. 144
Soutine, Céret 1919-1922 (exhibition catalogue), Musée d'Art Moderne de Céret, Céret, 2000, n.n, illustrated p. 179 (titled Paysage aux chênes-lièges)


Please note that there is a professional condition report for this work, please contact mariella.salazar@sothebys.com to request a copy.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

Between 1919 and 1922, Soutine moved to Céret in the Eastern Pyrénées where he created a number of bold and expressive landscapes. Paysage arbreux shows a bountiful, dynamic landscapeheralding the artist’s rich painting style. By moving to Céret, Soutine was following in the footsteps of artists before him such as Picasso, Gris and Chagall but he stands out due to his dedicated immersion in his new surroundings. Often wandering around the town, absorbing the natural beauty of the French countryside, Soutine used to paint en plein air, finding hidden spots where he was not disturbed by passers-by. The present landscape of dense foliage and gnarled trees comprises a cacophony of earthy tones and colour. The many diagonals that denote branches and trunks, rendered in swift yet controlled strokes, dominate and enliven the canvas. Soutine rendered landscapes with his own brand of moroseness; his handling of paint which conveys an agitated, frenetic quality, compels the viewer to confront the forces of nature. Soutine created landscapes with his own brand of moroseness, indicated by this scenery that seems to shift across the canvas. Employing his Expressionist mode of representation, the swirling brushwork of the trees and jagged, tilting horizon convey the internal unrest felt by Soutin and foreshadow the gestural quality of the action paintings of the Abstract Expressionists. Soutine had a profound impact on artists such as Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. De Kooning's work is filled with impulsive, Céret-like moved and he  openly, and incisively, acknowledged his admiration for Soutine, calling him, in 1977, his ‘favourite artist’. From 1946, with Pollock’s work becoming relentlessly abstract, art historian William Seitz propounds that Pollock pushed ‘values inherent in Van Gogh and Soutine to an ultimate conclusion’ (Esti Dunow & Maurice Tuchman, The Impact of Chaim Soutine (1893-1943), New York, 2001, p. 67).

Paysage arbreux reels under the painter’s energy and appears to rear up over the viewer. Maurice Tuchman states that ‘during the Céret period, Soutine, in his utter reliance on spontaneous execution, with its leaning toward the abstract, most fully embodied the expressionist vision… Soutine’s typical stroke is usually not a line but a fleshy patch, a section of sentient visceral matter’ (Maurice Tuchman, Esti Dunow & Klaus Perls, Chaim Soutine (1893-1943): Catalogue Raisonné, Cologne, 1993, vol 1, no. 32, illustrated p. 144).  The subject and colouring of this work are not far from the calm analysis of landscape undertaken by Cézanne and reflects the influence of the Cézannesque method of rigorously cropping the space surrounding his forms. It was in Céret, at the age of 26, where Soutine reached artistic maturity and established the pictorial style and expressive force that was to drive his art throughout his career.