Ben Uri acquires Soutine portrait

A portrait by one of the 20th century’s most important Jewish artists has been bought by the Ben Uri, the London Jewish Museum of Art.

La Soubrette, “Waiting Maid”, painted by Chaim Soutine around 1933, would go for an estimated £1 million to £1.5 million art at auction.

It will be only the sixth Soutine painting, and the only second portrait by him, in a public collection in the UK and will be unveiled at a special exhibition in autumn.

Ben Uri chairman David Glasser said: “This is a stunning addition to the collection and sits comfortably alongside the world class examples acquired by Ben Uri over the past decade including seminal works by Marc Chagall, George Grosz, Max Liebermann and David Bomberg, Sir Jacob Epstein Mark Gertler."

The painting was bought with the help by among others the Art Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Victoria and Albert Purchase Grant Fund as well as patrons of the museum.

“Without these institutions and supporters Ben Uri could not sustain our impact across local, national and international landscapes,” Mr Glasser said.

Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, said; "Chaim Soutine is increasingly understood as a truly major figure in the development of European Modernist painting, and this work is a fine example of what made Soutine’s practice so distinct and important."

Soutine, who died in 1943, was considered a significant influence on British artists such as Francis Bacon.

Born in Minsk in 1893, Soutine moved to Paris and fled the capital after the Nazi invasion. .

Last updated: 5:29pm, July 23 2012