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Cafe Scene

Raphael Soyer

American Art

Raphael Soyer had a lifelong interest in the daily lives of working-class New Yorkers. His paintings of lone women in the early 1940s suggest the absence of husbands or sweethearts who had been called up to serve in World War II.

Soyer liked to depict the blank expressions of people lost in thought, leaving the meaning of the scene open to the viewer’s own interpretation. Throughout his career, his subjects conveyed a sense of weariness and disquiet—a mood related to the social isolation of modern urban life.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES ca. 1940
DIMENSIONS 24 x 20in. (61 x 50.8cm) Frame: 30 1/2 x 26 1/2 x 2 1/4 in. (77.5 x 67.3 x 5.7 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Lower right: Raphael Soyer
INSCRIPTIONS on frame, in ink: This painting/ I bought from Raphael / Soyer in 1945 - / Julius Zirinsky / Nov. 30th, 1945
CREDIT LINE Gift of James N. Rosenberg
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Raphael Soyer (American, born Russia, 1899–1987). Cafe Scene, ca. 1940. Oil on canvas, 24 x 20in. (61 x 50.8cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of James N. Rosenberg, 46.15. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 46.15_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 46.15_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RIGHTS STATEMENT © Estate of Raphael Soyer
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