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Chaïm Soutine, Piece of Beef

Chaïm Soutine
born Smilovitchi, Russian Empire (now Belarus), 1893; died Paris, France, 1943
Piece of Beef
oil on canvas
On loan from Shefner/Braun Family

Piece of Beef is the most expressive and abstract of the ten paintings of a side of beef that Soutine made between 1920 and 1929. He worked directly from carcasses he bought himself. These works were directly inspired by Rembrandt’s great painting Side of Beef, which Soutine had studied in the Louvre.


Paul Guillaume, Paris (dealer); JOS HESSEL, Paris (dealer); Duncan McDonald (dealer, The Lefevre Gallery, London); Eardley Knollys (dealer) London, by 1945; Alex Reid & Lefevre, Ltd. London; Georges Keller, New York and Davos, Switzerland (Bignou Gallery, NY and Paris, director Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, gallery associate), by 1952–1973 (Georges Keller put the work on long-term loan to Kunstmuseum, Bern, Switzerland); Knoedler Modarco Inc., New York; Cosmondia SA, Gérance de fortunes (offshore bank), Genève, Switzerland; Galerie Heyraud Bresson, Paris; Daniel and Lorette Shefner, Quebec (June 1981–July 1986); Lorette Jolles Shefner, Montreal (July 1986–May 2004); Lontrel Trading and Galerie Cazeau Beraudiere/Maurice Tuchman/Esti Dunow (as owner or agent, May 2004–November 2004); National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. (November 2004–April 2009, deaccessioned from NGA Permanent Collection May 2009); Barry Shefner and the Ariela Braun Family Trust

Please use the guide to read Gallery provenance texts:

  • Provenance is listed in chronological order, beginning with the earliest known owner.
  • Dealers, auction houses or agents appear in parentheses.
  • Relationships between owners and methods of transactions are indicated by punctuation: a semicolon is used to indicate that the work passed directly between two owners (including dealers, auction houses, or agents), and a period is used to separate two owners (including dealers auction houses or agents) if a direct transfer did not occur or is not known to have occurred.
  • Footnotes are used to document or clarify where critical gaps in provenance exist.

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