Raphael Soyer

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Raphael Soyer
Woman Dressing
20th century
Watercolor with black chalk on board.
14 5/8 x 11 3/8 inches (455 x 329 mm)
The Joseph F. McCrindle Collection.

Inscribed at lower right in black chalk, "Raphael Soyer".

E. Weyhe, Inc., New York; from whom acquired by Joseph F. McCrindle, New York, 6 June 1980 (McCrindle collection no. A1009).

Soyer, a Russian-born American painter, draftsman, and printmaker, is generally described as an American scene painter, a designation encompassing a large group of artists working in the first half of the twentieth century who rejected European modernism in favor of naturalistic representations of the contemporary social landscape. Though much of his early work explored urban Social Realist themes, Soyer retreated into his studio in the 1940s and 1950s, primarily creating self-portraits at his easel and studio scenes of female nudes (see Gutman 1961, cats. 93, 107, 124; Goodrich 1972, pp. 132, 133, 253). In this sheet from the McCrindle collection, Soyer depicts a female nude in the process of getting dressed, likely after a modeling session in the artist's studio. The space of the studio is schematically rendered, defined only by the spare outline of a door or screen and a table, upon which the woman's clothing is scattered. Works cited: Lloyd Goodrich, Raphael Soyer (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1972); Walter K. Gutman, Raphael Soyer: Paintings and Drawings (New York: Shorewood Publishing Co., inc., 1961).

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