oil on canvas
52 x 40 cm (20 1/2 x 15 3/4 in.)
signed upper right verso on the stretcher titled, dated and inscribed 'Genf'
Christian Schad painted the half-act "Chantal" in 1919 in Switzerland, where he had lived in Geneva since 1916, and once again took up the early influences of Expressionism and Cubism in both prismatic refraction and color composition. There is hardly anything to see of the upcoming development of the Neue Sachlichkeit, whose great pioneer and one of its most important exponents should become Christian Schad. Nevertheless, the psychological interest that Schad brings to the people and situations he portrays can already be clearly felt in "Chantal". Through the posture, the tonality of the color and the shy, reserved look of the portrayed, but also in the view of physicality that suggests Schad's later relentlessness, one can also feel reminded of the figures from Picasso's blue period. Nothing else is known about the person of "Chantal", but she may have belonged to the working class, as some scholars suggest. In any case, Schad shows her as a vulnerable, insecure and somewhat puzzling figure. It was only in the twenties that Christian Schad started to prefer a different, harder and stronger type of woman in his paintings and especially the portraits. Nonetheless, "Chantal" is also a testimony to Schad's path to new objectivity, even if he still blends a more "social-psychological" Verism with earlier style elements.