Thursday, February 7, 2013

Montparnasse: Soutine, Kikoine and Modigliani

Chaïm Soutine

Man with Red Scarf, circa 1921
Height 100 cm (39.37 in.), Width 70 cm (27.56 in.), oil on canvas

Tree of Vence, about 1929

Tree in the Wind, circa 1939

Chartres Cathedral

Chaïm Soutine (January 13, 1893 – August 9, 1943) was a French painter of Belarusian Jewish origin. Soutine made a major contribution to the expressionist movement while living in Paris. Inspired by classic painting in the European tradition, exemplified by the works of Rembrandt,Chardin and Courbet, Soutine developed an individual style more concerned with shape, color, and texture over representation, which served as a bridge between more traditional approaches and the developing form of Abstract Expressionism.
For a time, he and his friends lived at La Ruche, a residence for struggling artists in Montparnasse where he became friends with Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920). Modigliani painted Soutine's portrait several times
Amedeo Modigliani, Chaim Soutine, 1916, Private Collection

Amedeo Modigliani, Portrait of Chaim Soutine, 1915

Michel Kikoine (Russian 1892 - 1968)

Michel Kikoine, Pommiers

Michel Kikoïne, Eglise sur colline

Kikoine was born in Rechytsa, present-day Belarus. The son of a Jewish banker in the small southeastern town of Gomel, he was barely into his teens when he began studying at "Kruger's School of Drawing" in Minsk. There he met Chaim Soutine, with whom he would have a lifelong friendship. At age 16 he and Soutine were studying at the Vilnius Academy of Art and in 1911 he moved to join the growing artistic community gathering in the MontparnasseQuarter of Paris, France. This artistic community included his friend Soutine as well as fellow Belarus painter, Pinchus Kremegne who also had studied at the Fine Arts School in Vilnia.

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