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LOT 0048

Chaim Soutine (Belarusian/French, 1893-1943) - Canard Pendu

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Chaim Soutine (Belarusian/French, 1893-1943) - Canard Pendu

Signed ‘C. Soutine’ bottom left, oil on cradled board
18 x 10 1/2 in. (45.7 x 26.7cm)

Provenance

Lumilla Arnhold, New York.
Christie's, New York, sale of November 16, 1983, lot 406.
Acquired directly from the above sale.
The Collection of Sidney Rothberg, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Lot Essay

Ms. Esti Dunow has confirmed the authenticity of the present lot, along with Maurice Tuchman in 2023, when the work was scheduled to be included in the forthcoming supplement to their Soutine Catalogue Raisonné.

It is in no small part thanks to the excellent eye and unwavering patronage of Philadelphia’s own, Dr. Albert Barnes, that the young Chaim Soutine gained national recognition as a major modernist painter. It was Barnes who, upon visiting the penniless twenty-nine year old Parisian painter’s studio in 1922 was captivated by Soutine’s The Pastry Chef (Le Pâtissier, c. 1919) and purchased it for his eponymous museum, along with some fifty other paintings through Soutine’s dealer Paul Guillaume. Barnes described Le Pâtissier as “an incredible, captivating, tangible, colorful pastry chef, cursed with a huge, magnificent ear, unexpected but right: a masterpiece.”

In addition to pastry chefs, Soutine focused on painting waiters, imbuing them with haunting, disquieting qualities. The artist’s connection to, and preoccupation with, food and animals, has been well documented, and Canard Pendu certainly fits in nicely with this important part of the artist’s œuvre. It has been suggested that Soutine’s paintings of animal carcasses served as a launching point for Francis Bacon and Damien Hirst, while Soutine himself is known to have been inspired by Rembrandt’s Slaughtered Ox (1655) in the Musée du Louvre.

Animals (as food) took on a complex place in Soutine’s life: they served a role in Jewish ritual–for example, chickens were employed in a Jewish prayer ceremony as part of the last meal before the Yom Kippur fast, but food was also in very short supply for Soutine, and the impoverished artist frequently suffered from bouts of hunger and stomach ulcers (he passed away at the early age of 49 from a perforated ulcer).

Soutine had childhood memories of animals being slaughtered, stating, “Once I saw the village butcher slice the neck of a goose [...] I wanted to cry out, but his joyful expression caught the sound in my throat, this cry, I always feel it here.” Animals (as food) were also an important subject matter for Soutine, as in the present work. Indeed, famed art critic Clement Greenberg said Soutine’s art was “more like life itself than visual art.” A well-known 1927 photograph of the artist clutching a cigarette while posing with a dead chicken that hangs before a broken brick wall in Western France proves to be quite telling.

In addition to ducks, Soutine painted geese, chicken, rabbits, turkeys, pheasants, and beef. He purchased these animals from local slaughterhouses, painting them as they rotted in his studio. While the subsequent odor prompted neighbors to call the police, Soutine was supposedly able to persuade them to keep the rotting animals for the sake of his art so long as he treated the animals with formaldehyde. Not only was “Chaim Soutine: Flesh” a fitting title for a 2018 Soutine retrospective at the Jewish Museum, New York, but it is noteworthy that a section of that 31-painting show was devoted to strung up birds entitled Fowl. In the present work, Soutine successfully demonstrates his ability to capture a favored subject in an unadorned, expressive, and dynamic fashion.

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27 Feb 2024
USA, Philadelphia, PA
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[ translate ]

Chaim Soutine (Belarusian/French, 1893-1943) - Canard Pendu

Signed ‘C. Soutine’ bottom left, oil on cradled board
18 x 10 1/2 in. (45.7 x 26.7cm)

Provenance

Lumilla Arnhold, New York.
Christie's, New York, sale of November 16, 1983, lot 406.
Acquired directly from the above sale.
The Collection of Sidney Rothberg, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Lot Essay

Ms. Esti Dunow has confirmed the authenticity of the present lot, along with Maurice Tuchman in 2023, when the work was scheduled to be included in the forthcoming supplement to their Soutine Catalogue Raisonné.

It is in no small part thanks to the excellent eye and unwavering patronage of Philadelphia’s own, Dr. Albert Barnes, that the young Chaim Soutine gained national recognition as a major modernist painter. It was Barnes who, upon visiting the penniless twenty-nine year old Parisian painter’s studio in 1922 was captivated by Soutine’s The Pastry Chef (Le Pâtissier, c. 1919) and purchased it for his eponymous museum, along with some fifty other paintings through Soutine’s dealer Paul Guillaume. Barnes described Le Pâtissier as “an incredible, captivating, tangible, colorful pastry chef, cursed with a huge, magnificent ear, unexpected but right: a masterpiece.”

In addition to pastry chefs, Soutine focused on painting waiters, imbuing them with haunting, disquieting qualities. The artist’s connection to, and preoccupation with, food and animals, has been well documented, and Canard Pendu certainly fits in nicely with this important part of the artist’s œuvre. It has been suggested that Soutine’s paintings of animal carcasses served as a launching point for Francis Bacon and Damien Hirst, while Soutine himself is known to have been inspired by Rembrandt’s Slaughtered Ox (1655) in the Musée du Louvre.

Animals (as food) took on a complex place in Soutine’s life: they served a role in Jewish ritual–for example, chickens were employed in a Jewish prayer ceremony as part of the last meal before the Yom Kippur fast, but food was also in very short supply for Soutine, and the impoverished artist frequently suffered from bouts of hunger and stomach ulcers (he passed away at the early age of 49 from a perforated ulcer).

Soutine had childhood memories of animals being slaughtered, stating, “Once I saw the village butcher slice the neck of a goose [...] I wanted to cry out, but his joyful expression caught the sound in my throat, this cry, I always feel it here.” Animals (as food) were also an important subject matter for Soutine, as in the present work. Indeed, famed art critic Clement Greenberg said Soutine’s art was “more like life itself than visual art.” A well-known 1927 photograph of the artist clutching a cigarette while posing with a dead chicken that hangs before a broken brick wall in Western France proves to be quite telling.

In addition to ducks, Soutine painted geese, chicken, rabbits, turkeys, pheasants, and beef. He purchased these animals from local slaughterhouses, painting them as they rotted in his studio. While the subsequent odor prompted neighbors to call the police, Soutine was supposedly able to persuade them to keep the rotting animals for the sake of his art so long as he treated the animals with formaldehyde. Not only was “Chaim Soutine: Flesh” a fitting title for a 2018 Soutine retrospective at the Jewish Museum, New York, but it is noteworthy that a section of that 31-painting show was devoted to strung up birds entitled Fowl. In the present work, Soutine successfully demonstrates his ability to capture a favored subject in an unadorned, expressive, and dynamic fashion.

[ translate ]
Sale price
Unlock
Estimate
Unlock
Reserve
Unlock
Time, Location
27 Feb 2024
USA, Philadelphia, PA
Auction House
Unlock