Le Chapeau blanc (c.1923)

Soutine, Chaïm (1893-1943)

Le Chapeau blanc (The White Hat)
Oil on canvas, 41 x 27 cm
Barnes FoundationPhiladelphia

Soutine presents a man with a turnip-shaped head wearing a small white hat. The figure’s black, high-collared coat emphasizes the strange contours of his face. One eyebrow is arched, giving him an air of thoughtfulness. Albert Barnes may have placed The White Hat on this wall to demonstrate how artists distort their subjects to express emotion. Compare, for example, Soutine‘s white-hatted man to the icy countenance of the sitter in Redheaded Girl in Evening Dress (1918) by Modigliani.