Roger Chastel

The cook, portrait of Aline , 1940-1941
Oil on canvas
Titled and dated on the back
Dimensions: 130 x 89cm
With frame: 157 x 115 cm

Sitting on a wooden chair, the cook, Aline, dressed in a turquoise blue apron over a navy blue dress that matches the kitchen furniture, is peeling onions. His gesture is enhanced by the trickle of peeling that escapes from his knife.

The painter places his model in the kitchen, among the pots and other utensils. Does Aline represent a Madonna; his impassive face is haloed by suspended brass. The cook gets down to her controlled and customary task. She turns away while continuing her work. She seems to be looking at the viewers as she seems to be posing in front of the artist who is painting her.

Roger Chastel painted Aline in a kitchen with Provencal decoration during his stay in Cannes in 1940. In the free zone under German occupation, he became friends with Pierre Bonnard and met Matisse.

In his work strongly influenced by cubism, he seeks the essential through synthesis and refinement. During his career, he painted one of the panels of the Palace of the League of Nations in Geneva with Vuillard, Roussel and Maurice Denis. Professor appreciated by the Beaux-Arts de Paris, he participated in numerous collective and personal exhibitions. He represented France at the Venice Biennale in 1952.

Bibliography :

• B. Dorival, The painters of the 20th century

• JL Ferrier, Modern Times

• J. Mistler, Roger Chastel, The masters of tomorrow collection, Sequana editions, 1943

• R. Huygue and J. Rudel, “Art and the modern world”, Volume 2, Paris, 1970

• J. Cassou, “Panorama of the plastic arts”, Paris, 1960

• Dictionary of Contemporary Abstract Art , Hazan editions, Paris, 1957

Museums :

• In Paris: National Museum of Modern Art, Luxembourg Museum, Paris.

• In France: museum of the baux-arts of Nice, museum of Pontoise.

• Internationally: Turin Museum of Modern Art; Tunis Museum of Fine Arts; Baltimore Museum in Boston; the Carnegie Institute of Pittsburg, Museum of São Paulo, Brazil.