Soliman, Delva (
91. Cap–Haitien Scene
known: just liked it.
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)
(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
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
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.
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
Obin's Henry Christophe Roi d'Haïti.
Sylvaine, Bien-Aime (1936–
33. Scène rurale
Nothing known: just liked it.
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
152. 'Arbre de vie'»
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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