7.12.2010

Chaim Soutine's Beef Carcass Paintings


Oh, heck, how about another creepy carcass? Here's Chaim Soutine's "Side of Beef," which was apparently a partial inspiration for Francis Bacon's "Figure with Meat."


As carcasses go, there's something almost jaunty about this one. I suppose this has to do with strangely suspended—almost levitating—quality of it... Yellow legs reaching up with a cheerful sort of rigor mortis into that deep blue field.

Here's what the online Encyclopedia Britannica has to say about Soutine:
[His] highly individualistic style, characterized by the use of thick impasto, agitated brushwork, convulsive compositional rhythms, and the presence of disturbing psychological content, is closely related to early 20th-century Expressionism.
Another Soutine "still life" (doesn't seem quite the right term) of a beef carcass. It's called Bœuf écorché. I suppose that must mean something like slaughtered beef, but I think "écorché" also means "tormented":


A bit less jaunty... Although painted in 1925, this somehow screams Guantanomo Bay.

the artist

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