Woman Knitting

Chaim Soutine (French, 1893-1943)
c. 1924-25
Oil on canvas 
32-1/2 x 23-1/2 in. (82.55 x 59.69 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
On View

Despite the odds stacked against him as the tenth of eleven children from a poor Lithuanian family, Chaim Soutine developed a passion for art and moved to Paris to pursue his ambition. Under the tutelage of the sophisticated and well-read Amedeo Modigliani, Soutine began to practice his craft in earnest. With wildly expressionistic paint handling quite distinct from that of his mentor, Soutine’s portraits are infused with a vitality—even frenzy—that destabilizes the formality of their frontal poses. Indeed, many of his pictures have a caricature-like quality that at once derides and celebrates the particularities of the sitter. The wide eyes, avian nose, and elongated neck of the woman seen here, coupled with the inflated shoulders and cinched waist of her gown, communicate the physical idiosyncrasies of a particular, albeit unnamed, individual.


G. Clausen, Copenhagen, in 1934 (?).
Madame de Cardonne.
William Rees Jeffreys (1871-1954), The Hall, Wivelsfield Green, Sussex, purchased 1939 for £90, (sale, London, Christie’s, 26 November 1954, lot 125, ill., as La Tricoteuse, to);
Renel or Revel (?buying for Spreiregen);
Jacques Spreiregen (sale, London, Sotheby’s, 17 July 1957, lot 91, as La tricoteuse, ill., bought-in); (sale, London, Christie’s, 9 July 1965, lot 97, color ill., as La Tricoteuse; bought-in); Jacques Spreiregen, sold 1968 through;
[Frank Perls, Los Angeles, to];
The Norton Simon Foundation.

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