Chaim Soutine 1894-1943
T00692 Paysage à Céret
(Landscape at Caret) c.1920-1
Inscribed 'Soutine' b.r.
Oil on canvas, 22 x 33 (61 x 84)
Purchased from Sir Rex de C. Nan Kivell (Special Grant-in-Aid) 1964
Prov: With Redfern Gallery, London, 1938 (purchased from the artist?); Sir Rex de C. Nan Kivell, London
Exh: Soutine, Redfern Gallery, London, 1938 (no catalogue); Russian Emigré Artists in Paris, Redfern Gallery, London, December 1953-January 1954 (2) as 'L'Orage, Ceret'; Summer Exhibition, Redfern Gallery, London, July-September 1959 (142); Selected French Paintings, Redfern Gallery, London, February-March 1960 (18); Summer Exhibition, Redfern Gallery, London, June-September 1960 (294); Selected French Paintings 1900-1945, Redfern Gallery, London, February-March 1961 (139); Summer Exhibition, Redfern Gallery, London, July-September 1962 (353); Summer Exhibition, Redfern Gallery, London, June-September 1963 (531); Soutine, RSA, Edinburgh, August-September 1963 (14, repr. in colour); Tate Gallery, September-November 1963 (14, repr. in colour); Study for an Exhibition of Violence in Contemporary Art, ICA, London, February-March 1964 (03); Summer Exhibition, Redfern Gallery, London, June-September 1964 (688); Chaim Soutine 1893-1943, Los Angeles County Museum, February-April 1968 (15, repr.); Soutine, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, May-August 1968 (13)
Lit: Andrew Forge, Soutine (London 1965), pp.38-9, repr. pl.12 in colour (colours very inaccurate); Peter Stone, 'Soutine at Céret' in Art and Artists, V, 1 April 1970, p.56, repr. p.55
Repr: The Tate Gallery (London 1969), p.119
Soutine worked at Céret, a small hill-town in the French Pyrenees, between 1919 and 1922. The present work has sometimes been known under the misleading title 'Storm at Céret', but the stormy effect is to be seen rather as a projection of the artist's own mood than as a rendering of the weather. The treatment is typical of Soutine's Céret period in its thickly impasted low-keyed colour and in the way in which the landscape, seen through dense foliage, becomes convulsively animated, twisted and knotted. A photograph of this particular hillside and farmhouse is reproduced in Art and Artists, op. cit., p.55. It was taken by Peter Stone in 1965 (though not published until 1970), but shows a view from several hundred yards further away, as the land in between, which was then a park, is now private property. The gnarled tree, like most of the trees in the area, has been cut down. There is another painting of almost exactly the same view (repr. in Pierre Courthion, Soutine: Peintre du Déchirant, Lausanne 1972, p.204B as 'The Hill' 1921-2), and one, now in the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts, which includes more of the hillside to the right (repr. Courthion, op. cit., p.199G as 'Landscape at Céret (The House under the Trees)' 1919-20). The farmhouse probably also figures in other pictures, but seen from different viewpoints, such as Courthion p. 190B and p.206C.
Sir Rex de C. Nan Kivell, the previous owner of this work, wrote as follows of its provenance (26 June 1976):
'This Soutine was one of the collection I brought over from Paris in 1938 and which we showed at the Redfern in one of the rooms but of which we had no catalogue, only a typed list pinned to the wall.
'My recollection is that we only sold three or four, the Céret one in discussion I bought myself and I also bought another one Route de Cagnes.
'The majority of the pictures came on loan from Mme Zac of the Galerie Zac [Zak] Paris, and were returned to her. She got them direct from Soutine. I chose a number from a collection Soutine brought unframed to the Café Deux Magots, the Céret painting being one of the Soutine collection.'
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.700-1, reproduced p.700