Provenance Research

Chaim Soutine (1893-1943)
View of Céret, ca. 1920-21
Oil on canvas
21 1/4 x 28 3/4 in. (54 x 73 cm)
Millennium Gift of Sara Lee Corporation, 1999.60
2002 Artists Right Society (ARS), ADAGP, Paris

Signed lower left: "Soutine"

View of buildings along a street in Céret seen from across a river. Vigorous brushwork, dark tones, and diagonal composition suggest movement and give a tense energy to the work.

Alternate Titles:
Paysage Tourment (Céret)
Vue de Céret
Blick auf Céret

Provenance: [1]

    (Galerie Alice Manteau, Paris [2])
August 8, 1930-?:   Unidentified Collection, Paris [3]
    (Carstairs Gallery, New York [4])
?-Until December 1950:   Kunstmuseum Lucerne, Switzerland, or Private Collection, Küssnacht, Switzerland, on long-term loan to Kunstmuseum Lucerne, sold to [5]
December 1950-?:   (Glenway Westcott, New York, sold to [6])
By January 1951:   (Perls Galleries, New York [6])
    Jacob Rosenberg, New York
Until April 6, 1967:   La Comtesse d'Escayrac, New York and Geneva, sold at Parke-Bernet, New York, April 6, 1967, lot 47, to
April 6, 1967-September 1981:   Nathan Cummings, Chicago
September 1981-1999:   Sara Lee Corporation, Chicago, given to
1999-present:   Cincinnati Art Museum

[1] Albert C. Barnes [1872-1951] purchased fifty-two paintings by Chaim Soutine in 1922 and 1923. Retaining only a select group for his collection, he sold many of the remaining pictures to dealers Paul Guillaume, Paris, ca. 1922; Kurt Mettler, Paris, 1930; and Georges Keller, New York, 1943. Barnes also traded some works in Paris for other paintings. As Soutine destroyed a number of the paintings he created at Céret, Barnes' patronage of his work is a significant factor in the survival works from this period. It has often been assumed that View of Céret was one of the works acquired by Barnes; however, no specific documentation currently known either supports or denies this claim. The 1993 catalogue raisonné of Soutine's work does not include Barnes on the painting's provenance. The Barnes Foundation, Merion, Pennsylvania, has not discovered any specific information that identifies Barnes as a previous owner of the painting (although they are currently in the process of cataloguing their archives and more information may become available in the future). Due to the lack of specific documentation available at this time, Barnes is not included on the present provenance. Research on the painting is ongoing, and Barnes and those dealers to whom he sold or traded Soutine paintings will still be considered as possible links in the painting's provenance. See Norman L. Kleeblatt and Kenneth E. Silver, An Expressionist in Paris: The Paintings of Chaim Soutine, New York: The Jewish Museum, 1998, Appendix, p. 198; Maurice Tuchman, Esti Dunow, and Klaus Perls, Chaim Soutine (1893-1943) Catalogue Raisonné, Köln: Benedikt Taschen Verlag, 1993, no. 69, pp. 184-185; and correspondence, December 11, 2001, July 22, 2002.

[2] A label on the back identifies that View of Céret was once at the Galerie Alice Manteau, Paris. As it is not known when Alice Manteau acquired the work, the gallery may be incorrectly placed in the chronology of this provenance. One possible connection between the painting and the gallery may be the exhibition L'Expressionnisme français (French Expressionism), which Manteau held at her gallery in 1928. Soutine was one of the artists included in the show, but no checklist or catalogue has been discovered to indicate whether the CAM's painting was among those works exhibited. For information on the 1928 exhibition see: Andre Lhote, "L'Expressionisme français (Galerie Alice Manteau)," La Nouvelle Revue Français, 31, December 1935, pp. 880-963; and Marit Werenskiold, The Concept of Expressionism, 1994, p. 75.

[3] A handwritten label on back of the painting notes that it once belonged to an individual in France in August 1930: "Ce tableau apparteniet/ a Alice _______ / Mondiens 6 8 Aout 1930./ ________". The two words that are undecipherable appear to be the same last name. The latter is preceded by two initials, possibly "S. H." Although the first name of the first individual is Alice, her last name does not appear to read Manteau. Underneath the writing are two French customs stamps.

[4] The painting was not included in the 1940 Carstairs Gallery exhibition of Soutine's paintings.

[5] The Kunstmuseum Lucerne loaned the painting to a traveling exhibition of the artist's work Soutine, Museum of Modern Art, New York, October 31, 1950 to January 7, 1951. Recent correspondence with the Kunstmuseum Lucern did not reveal any specific information about the museum's ownership of the painting. In fact, the museum discovered only one reference to a painting by Soutine having been in their collection. Titled Landschaft, it was placed in their collection as a long-term loan by a private collector. Apparently Landschaft was held at the museum from at least 1941 until at least 1950. Their records do not indicate when the painting arrived or left the museum, nor if it was loaned to any exhibitions. See Monroe Wheeler, Soutine, New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1950, pp. 43,112; and correspondence, November 19, 2001, and July 29, 2002.

[6] In December 1950, while on loan to the Soutine exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Glenway Westcott purchased View of Céret. The painting traveled with the Soutine exhibition to the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA), January 30 to March 18, 1951, Loan 123.51. Westcott is recorded in CMA records as the owner of the painting. He then sold the painting to the Perls Galleries, New York, around January 1951. The CMA shipped the painting directly to the Perls Galleries on March 19, 1951 (CMA registrar files, Order for Shipment, no. 12810), where it was included in an exhibition: The Perls Galleries Collection of Modern French Paintings, March 26 to April 21, 1951, no. 177. See correspondence, July 12, 15, and 17, 2002; and relating CMA registration and archives photocopies.

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