Chaïm Soutine

The Road up the Hill


Not on display

Chaïm Soutine 1893–1943
Original title
La Route de la colline (Vence)
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 724 × 600 mm
frame: 915 × 785 × 97 mm
Bequeathed by Miss Helen Drysdale 1959

Display caption

Soutine’s response to the South of France appears to have been intensely physical. In this work, the steep streets of Vence afford him a plunging perspective which he welds together under the overarching tree. The canvas barely contains the swirling energy of the forms, resulting in a strangely claustrophobic relationship with nature.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

Chaim Soutine 1894-1943

T00315 The Road up the Hill c.1924

Inscribed 'Soutine' b.l.
Oil on canvas, 28 1/2 x 23 5/8 (72.5 x 60)
Bequeathed by Miss Helen Drysdale 1959
Prov: Mme Paul Guillaume, Paris; with Storran Gallery, London; Miss Helen Drysdale, Cobham, 1938
Exh: 12 Paintings by Soutine, Storran Gallery, London, November 1938 (9) as 'The Road up the Hill'; Chaim Soutine, Tate Gallery, September-November 1963 (29)
Repr: Studio, CLIX, 1960, p.114; Pierre Courthion, Soutine: Peintre du Déchirant (Lausanne 1972), p.228E as 'La Route de la Colline (Vence)' 1923-5

Jean Clergue, Director of the Museum at Cagnes, has identified this as a view up the Rue Hippolyte Guis (formerly Rue Notre-Dame) at Cagnes. 'Placed under the arcade of the church, out of the way of spectators and the traffic, he painted this road in peace and quiet in the afternoon. Everyone here recognises the low wall on the left, with its row of white stones, and the flight of steps on the right, the houses and the two trees ... etc. etc.' (letter of 20 July 1973). This identification is confirmed by several colour snapshots in the Gallery files.

Published in:
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, p.701, reproduced p.701


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