Chaim Soutine (1894-1943) came to Paris in 1913. He was the only painter
in the city who was in the least like Georges Rouault, and as a Parisian
Expressionist, he belonged to the ``School of Paris''.
Soutine's style of applying thickly encrusted paint was quite different
from Rouault's, but his wild, chaotic spirit, sorrowful and vehement,
is like that of the Frenchman. Just as Rouault, despite his Fauvist
connections, is seen as inherently Expressionist, so Soutine was a
natural, though singular, Expressionist.
Soutine's religion was the earth. He painted the sacredness of the country
with a passion that makes his art hard to read. Landscape at Ceret
(c. 1920-21; 56 x 84 cm (22 x 33 in)) is so dense that it could be abstract,
and it does take enormous liberties with the earthly facets, but when we
do ``read'' it, hill and tree and road take on a new significance for us.