Skip to Content

Art Gallery of Ontario

Keyword Site Search

Art Matters Blog

A closer look: Piece of Beef by Chaïm Soutine

June 5th, 2012

Chaïm Soutine, Piece of Beef (1923), oil on canvas. On loan from Shefner/Braun Family.

Here’s a work of art you can really sink your teeth into.

Piece of Beef, one of our collection’s European Highlights, is a modern work infused with the style of the old masters who inspired it. After studying Rembrandt’s great painting Side of Beef in the Louvre, Chaïm Soutine worked directly from carcasses he bought himself, creating 10 paintings of a side of beef between 1920 and 1929. This work is the most expressive and abstract of the series, and we’re pleased to have it on loan from the Shefner/Braun family.

It’s not every day you see a piece of meat that’s raw, rare and well done all at the same time.