Soutine acquired by Ben Uri gallery
PUBLISHED: 16:03 16 August 2012
La Soubrette will be unveiled on October 4
This remarkable Chaim Soutine portrait La Soubrette (Waiting Maid) has been acquired by the Ben Uri, The London Jewish Museum of Art in St John’s Wood. Painted in 1933, it is a compelling example of the studies Soutine made around that time of domestic staff of bourgeois country estates, in which the subject’s ruddy face contrasts with the white of the uniform. The maid’s pinched face and downcast eyes express weariness and a certain submission.
Esti Dunow, co-author of the Soutine Catalogue Raisonné, wrote of La Soubrette, “The virtuoso handling of paint and brushstrokes reflects his growing fascination with earlier masters – from Rembrandt and Chardin to Corot and Courbet.” Soutine (1892 – 1943) was a Lithuanian-Jewish École de Paris artist and this painting augments the Ben Uri’s impressive collection of this group of artists, which includes the Marc Chagall Jewish Crucifixion acquired in 2010.
La Soubrette was purchased with the help of a £193,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant and almost equal support from the Art Fund and the V&A Purchase Grant Fund as well as private donations. It will be unveiled to the public in an exhibition at the Ben Uri, 108a Boundary Road NW8, from October 4 to 28.