Soutine, Chaim

BORN 13 Jan 1893, Smilovitchi, Belarus - DIED 9 Aug 1943, Paris
CAUSE OF DEATH perforated ulcer
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Cimetière du Montparnasse, 3 Boulevard Edgar Quinet (division 15)

Jewish expressionist painter Chaim Soutine was born near Minsk in Belarus, then part of the Russian Empire. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vilnius from 1910 to 1913. Then he went to Paris together with friends Pinchus Kremegne and Michel Kikoine. There he lived in poverty until 1922 and he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts under Fernand Cormon.

He befriended Amedeo Modigliani, who painted his portrait. During the First World War he was supported by the art dealer Léopold Zborowski, who took him to Nice when Paris was bombed.
When the American collector A.C. Barnes visited his him in 1923 he bought 60 of his paintings. His work expressed the hopelessness of humanity and after 1925 he often painted dead animals. He frequently destroyed his paintings if they weren't to his satisfaction.

He was Jewish and he fled Paris for the German secret police during the Second World War. In the country he started painting landscapes. He went back to Paris when he found a safe hiding place there, but by this time he suffered from a stomach ulcer. An operation didn't save his life and he died on 9 Aug 1943 in Paris.

He was buried at the Cimetière de Montparnasse and although he was Jewish his mistress Marie-Berthe Aurenche placed a cross on his grave.

Related persons
• was the lover of Aurenche, Marie-Berthe
• was a friend of Modigliani, Amédéo
• was painted by Modigliani, Amédéo


The grave of Chaim Soutine at the Montparnasse cemetery, Paris.
Picture by Androom (27 Aug 2001)


• Culbertson, Judi & Tom Randall, Permanent Parisians, Robson Books, London, 1991
Schilderkunst van A tot Z, REBO, Lisse, 1990

Soyer, Alexis Benoit

Published: 30 Apr 2009
Last update: 25 Apr 2022