An expressionist painter constantly dissatisfied with his talent, Chaim Soutine portrayed his own violent emotions in his work using vivid colors and distorted images. His artistic style mixed his Jewish heritage with Fauvism and Cubism.
Chaim Soutine was born into a Jewish family in Smilovich near Minsk in 1843. From 1910 Chaim Soutine attended art school in Vilna, before he went to Paris in 1913. Under the influence of the impressions he gained during numerous visits to the Louvre and studies of the works of Cézanne, van Gogh and Bonnard, Soutine found his own path to Expressionism.
Chaim Soutine developed a passionate color dynamism with susceptible, restless shapes. After his first Paris years, Soutine worked in Céret in the French Pyrenees for three years from 1919, where he painted almost 200 pictures. With his visions of apocalyptic landscapes and his dynamic brush strokes he was close to Kokoschka and Nolde. In 1923 Soutines financial situation improved, after the American collector Alfred Barnes bought many of his pictures. After an interlude in Cagnes-sur-Mer from 1923 to 1925, Chaim Soutine worked almost exclusively in Paris. In the pictures of his late works, distortions and the strong emotionality ease off a bit. Soutine was then striving for more of a moderation, reminiscent of Courbet and Rembrandt. Chaim Soutine dismissed his early works, and destroyed all the pieces he managed to get a hold of.
Chaim Soutine died in Paris on August 9, 1943.
Soutine was prone to violent rages and bouts of depression and had attempted suicide. He often destroyed his own creations. His bizarre works went with stranger behaviors; once, he kept an animal carcass in his apartment for his painting Carcass of Beef. Despite his rages and eccentricities, he managed to sell many of his works to a well-known American collector by the name of Dr. Alfred Barnes who helped Soutine's work find an appreciative audience in the United States.
Soutine's best exhibition of his paintings was in Paris 1937. Shortly after the display of his works in Paris, France fell under the hands of the Nazis. Soutine fled for his life, often sleeping in forests in the rain. Two weeks before the French liberation on August 8, 1944, he died due to complications from surgery on a stomach ulcer.