Balthus


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Balthus

(bôl`thəs, băl`–), 1908–2001, Polish-French painter, b. Paris as Count Balthasar Klossowski de Rola. Balthus is sometimes regarded as one of the most important figurative painters of the modern era. He began painting as a young man and had his first one-man show in 1934. Balthus soon developed extraordinary technical skill and a distinctive style, producing poetic, calm, yet erotically charged and oddly disorienting paintings. Many of them are extremely large with thickly built-up surfaces and feature dreamy, sensual, and enigmatically posed pubescent girls often accompanied by cats. Many of these works have been charged with prurience and proved extremely controversial. His other typical subjects are brooding landscapes and distinctive portraits. Balthus was also known for his stage designs. His elder brother, Pierre Klossowski, 1905–2001, was a writer, translator, artist, and filmmaker.

Bibliography

See his memoirs (2002); biography by N. F. Weber (1999); S. Rewald, Balthus: Cats and Girls—Paintings and Provocations (museum catalog, 2013).

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Balthus

real name Balthasar Klossowski de Rola. 1908--2001, French painter of Polish descent, noted esp for his paintings of adolescent girls
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
It is not that one doubts Webers picture of Balthus's less attractive traits in this book, or of the slight vanity into which he and his family seem to have slipped.
Jeremy Glover, Captain Scott's trainer, has an outstanding record in the Cambridgeshire, having won with Balthus in 1987, Rambo's Hall in both 1989 and 1992, and Clifton Fox in 1996.
Of the German dealers, Hamburg-based Martin Moeller & Cie brings another pencil drawing, this time a self-portrait by Otto Dix, while Le Claire Kunst, also from Hamburg, has a delicate and charged portrait in black chalk by Balthus of Setsuko Ideta, executed in 1963, the year after they met (they married in 1967).
Although the work of both artists is unmistakably specific to the century into which they were born and (differing in this regard from that of Klossowski's brother, Balthus) absolutely without nostalgia for the art of the old masters, Bellmer and Klossowski were unconcerned with any notion of pictorial modernism.
From 1947 he spent two formative years in Paris, where he met Leger, Arp, Braque, Brancusi, Balthus, Giacometti and Tzara, and discovered Existentialism.
Seeking the thrills of the too-much, this painter, installation artist, and performer fought his horror vacui in recent shows in Frankfurt and Copenhagen by expanding his list of heavyweight obsessions (Kubrick and Kinski, Wagner and Balthus).
At Christie's Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale on 13 May, paintings by Pierre Bonnard and Balthus also established new auction highs.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Balthus (March 1, 1908), Howard Pyle (March 5, 1853), Michelangelo (March 6, 1475), Adolph Gottlieb (March 14, 1903), and Fra Bartolommeo (March 28, 2019).