Le Pâtissier (c.1919)

Soutine, Chaïm (1893-1943)

Le Pâtissier (The Pastry Chef, Baker Boy)
Oil on canvas, 66 x 51 cm
Barnes FoundationPhiladelphia

When Albert Barnes first visited Chaim Soutine‘s Paris studio in 1922, the struggling artist was known only in the city’s bohemian circles. Seeing this painting of a pastry chef sparked Dr. Barnes to buy more than 50 works by Soutine in the course of a few weeks, through the art dealer Paul Guillaume. In 1923, Guillaume recounted his discovery of Soutine‘s work: “One day when I had gone to a painter’s house to see a picture by Modigliani I noticed in a corner of the studio a work which immediately got me excited. It was a Soutine; and it showed a pastry chef—an incredible, captivating, tangible, colorful pastry chef, cursed with a huge, magnificent ear, unexpected but right; a masterpiece. I bought it.” (BF)