Soutine’s repeated use of animal carcasses as the subject matter for still life paintings likely stems from his complex relationship with food and his adoration of the work of Rembrandt. During his repeated visits to the Louvre, Soutine pondered the old master’s Slaughtered Ox, which bears a strong resemblance to Carcas of Beef
According to an often-recounted story, young Soutine was beaten and was isolated in a butcher’s fridge for punishment after presenting a portrait to a rabbi. The suffering he experienced within the Jewish ghetto of his youth is believed to have worked its way into his later canvases. Unlike Rembrandt, Soutine isolated the subject and employed an unusual method in the creation of this still life.
After hanging the side of beef bought at a Parisian slaughterhouse in his studio, he had his assistant fetch a bucket of fresh cow’s blood every few days and, while painting this work, Soutine would repeatedly pour blood over the carcass to ensure it maintained the bright color of freshly cut beef. Meanwhile, his assistant fanned away flies and neighbors complained to the police about the smell, even causing health inspectors to almost cart the beef away. Luckily his assistant intervened, as Soutine was far too engrossed in painting, and the artist was allowed to finish what is largely regarded as his masterpiece.
There’s a story that Marc Chagall saw the blood from the carcass leak out onto the corridor outside Soutine’s room, and rushed out screaming, "Someone has killed Soutine". Soutine painted 10 works in this series, which have since become his most well-known.
Αλλά πάντα από την αποστα- σιοποιημένη ματιά της τέχνης
Εργα τέχνης που απεικονίζουν σκοτεινές πλευρές της ιστορίας και του ανθρώπινου ψυχισμού, όπως ωμή βία, ρατσισμό, κακοποίηση και σφαγές άλλων -ΔΕΝ ΠΡΕΠΕΙ ΝΑ ΛΟΓΟΚΡΙΝΟΝΤΑΙ!! Πρέπει να αντιμετωπίζουμε πρόσωπο με πρόσωπο την ωμότητα και να πασχίζουμε να την κατανοήσουμε με κριτικό και αποστασιοποιημένο τρόπο, αν θέλουμε να φτιάξουμε έναν καλύτερο κόσμο.
Graphics that depict dark aspects of history—such as violence, intolerance, racism, aggressive nationalism, war and atrocity, abuse of others and of the environment in general—have not been censored. We must confront such harsh images directly—and struggle to critically understand them—if we hope to ever make a better world. ocw.mit.edu