Soliman, Delva (   —   )


91. Cap–Haitien Scene
c1985 (8x10)

Nothing known: just liked it.
   Well, sort of. In my usual last–minute, pre–departure frenzy, I saw this little work in the gift shop of what was then the François Duvalier International Airport — and I boosted my 'take' by one painting.

     Stèphane, Micius (1912–1996)


22. Marché
n/d (20x24)


226. Pêche
n/d (20x24)

   Micius (also Mucius) Stèphane, another artist discovered by Dewitt Peters, joined the Centre d'Arte in 1948. I'd have done well to collect more Stèphanes and fewer paintings overall. He is one of the very finest of Haitian naïfs, a true master of the genre, and these works are among my very favorites. 
   There were never many Stèphanes available. The artist worked slowly — just a handful of works each year, most of them much smaller than the two in my collection. He was hugely devoted to his blind wife and gave much of his time to caring for her. His small output was quickly gobbled up by connoisseurs.
   Stèphane's exquisite coloring and precise draftsmanship are quite striking in Pêche. His delightful lack of perspective is especially evident in Marché: note how the woman seated at the left would, if she stood up, be two or three times the height of her neighbor.
   A New York City artist, the friend of a friend, visited Haïti in 1975 and obtained Marché for me.

   I acquired Pêche — 28 years later — via the same 'estate sale' that brought me Sènêque Obin's Henry Christophe Roi d'Haïti.

     Sylvaine, Bien-Aime (1936–   )


33. Scène rurale
c1976 (24x16)

 

Nothing known: just liked it.
   
Sylvaine does appear in one of my Haitian art books, with a painting similar to this — though not, happily, identical to it. A Port–au–Prince gallery owner claimed that Sylvaine has a 'vision' — an enormous landscape — from which he selects a different part for each of his works. What that means, I think, is that Sylvaine does basically the same scene over and over, varying it more here, less there.

     Torchon, Camille (1953–   )


152. 'Arbre de vie'»
c1995 (24x20)

 

   A Port–au–Prince native, Torchon began painting at an early age and had the first of many exhibitions — in Haïti and abroad — in 1973. Influenced early on by Murat St–Vil and the Jacmel school of 'semi–fantastiques,' Torchon has since developed his own, distinctive style. He is best known for works titled 'the tree of life' — a vision that he renders imaginatively.

           

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