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Portrait of Chaim Soutine Painting by Amedo Modigalini


Famous Art work & Drawing by Amedo Modigalini Portrait of Chaim Soutine Amedo ModilgianiPortrait of Chaim Soutine. 1915. Oil on panel. 36 x 27.5 cm. Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, Germany

Portrait of Chaim Soutine

When Modigliani was in Montparnasse in Paris, he became friend of the Jewish painter Chaim Soutine. Modigliani painted Soutine’s portraits several times. This portrait is the most outstanding among them. It was painted in 1917.

The portrait was painted in an unusually rough impasto on the back of a wooden door in the flat of his dealer Zborowski. When Zborowski complained about the desecration of his door, Modigliani prophetically replied, “Some day you will be able to sell the door for its weight in gold.” Then Zborowski’s wife Hanka, who loathed Soutine, replied that until then “we have to live with that portrait.”

Soutine’s brown eyes with tiny dots of white are asymmetrical. His nose is broad and spade-like. His lips parted in a smile show strong white teeth. His head rests on a long column of neck. Modigliani has compassionately portrayed Soutine as an amiable bumpkin than a tortured soul. The artist has revealed his subject’s naivete intensity, sensuality and peasant strength.

Soutine was born in what is now Belarus. While living in Paris, he made a major contribution to the expressionist movement. He was inspired by the classic paintings in the European tradition and the works of Rembrandt, Chardon and Courbet. Soutine developed an individual style with more importance to shape, color and texture over representation.

The series of ten Caracas painting by Soutine is very famous. And that became his most iconic work.

When France was invaded by German troops, as a Jew, Soutine had to escape from Paris in order to avoid arrest by the Gestapo. He moved from place to place and took shelter in forests. Chaim Soutine died of perforated ulcer in 1943.

Modigliani was unusually fond of Soutine’s image and painted various portraits of him. Just why Modigliani felt compelled to paint the downtrodden Soutine so often is debatable, though their shared poverty and creative struggles were also the factors.


Untitled Document

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