Chaïm Soutine

Born: 1893, Smilovichi (Minsk Province)
Died: 1943, Paris

Painter. Studied drawing under Chaïm Krüger in Minsk (1909). Worked as a photographer’s assistant in Vilna, attended the Vilna Academy of Arts (1910–13), where he met Michel Kikoine and Pinchus Krémègne. Emigrated to Paris (1913), where he worked under Fernand Cormon at the École des Beaux-Arts and made the acquaintance of Marc Chagall, Jacques Lipchitz, Ossip Zadkine, Fernand Léger and Amedeo Modigliani. Lived at La Ruche and painted portraits, still-lifes and landscapes in an Expressionist style. Attracted the interest of the poet and collector Léopold Zborowski (from 1916), who invited him to Céret in the south of France (1918–22). Lived mostly in Paris (from 1922), visiting Cagnes-sur-Mer, Vence, Nice and Bordeaux. Many of his works were acquired by Dr Albert C. Barnes, a collector and patron from Philadelphia (1922–23). Spent summers as the guest of Madeleine and Marcellin Castaing at Lèves near Chartres (1930–35). Died of a perforated ulcer while trying to avoid the Gestapo in Paris during the Second World War and buried at the Cimetière du Montparnasse (1943). Contributed to such exhibitions in Paris as 47 du Parnasse (1920), Centaine du Parnasse (1921), Oudar (1923), Tchisla (1931), Notre Union (1936) and the exhibitions of Russian art in Paris (1923, 1931–32, 1936) and Belgrade (1930). One-man shows in Paris (1927, 1928, 1929, 1956, 1959, 1973, 2008), Chicago (1935), New York (1936, 1937, 1939, 1940, 1943, 1944, 1958), London (1937, 1938, 1947, 1963), Washington (1943), Los Angeles (1968), Lucerne (1982), Chartres (1989) and Basle (2008).

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