This arresting portrait of a humble servant is a particularly striking and well-resolved example of Chaïm SoutineÂ’s innovative style.

Rather than seeking glamorous models of high social status, Soutine instead turned to everyday people as a source of inspiration for his most successful works. In his wildly expressive depictions of these figures, Soutine is able to transform the appearance of his models from the commonplace to the truly outstanding. This is the first of Soutine's portraits known to be acquired for the British public and is of particular significance to the Ben Uri as the artist was an internationally-recognised 20th-century master, of Jewish descent and an Eastern-European émigré and member of the École de Paris.


Paul Wertheimer, 1937; Jos. Hessel, 1937; Etienne Bignou, 1938; Alex Reid and Lefevre, Ltd, 1938; Earl of Sandwich, 1938; Lady Elizabeth Montagu, 1962; Mrs Andrew Best, 1962; by descent to current owners.

Back to top