Soutine was Jewish by religion. He grew up in a ghetto where there was little food, so that unfortunate circumstance likely influenced his decision to paint a portrait of the carcass to the point that it was rotten by the time he was done.
|Carcass of Beef in the... flesh. 1925, oil on canvas.|
|Carcass of Beef by Rembrandt van Rijn. 1675, oil on canvas.|
Unfortunately for Soutine, the Nazis eventually occupied France during World War II in 1940. Since he was a known and registered Jew, Soutine had no choice but to flee for his life. His plan was to escape France, but a stomach ulcer necessitated his return to Paris to seek treatment. The ulcer ultimately took his life after a failed treatment. Soutine's Jewish upbringing and life of poverty was a major influence throughout his career.
For a full biography on Soutine's life and a gallery of his works, visit
For more information on events in France during World War II, visit