Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Balthus ; (Balthasar Klossowski de Rola)

Girl with Cat
Oil on board
34 1/2 x 30 1/2 in. (87.6 x 77.5 cm)
Lindy and Edwin Bergman Collection

Balthasar Klossowski de Rola (1908–2001), best known as Balthus, whose style is primarily classical, was an esteemed but controversial Polish-French modern artist.
Many of Balthus's paintings show young girls in an erotic context. Balthus insisted that his work was not erotic but that it recognized the discomforting facts of children's sexuality.
His work shows numerous influences, including the writings of Emily Brontë, the writings and photography of Lewis Carroll, and the paintings of Masaccio, Piero della Francesca, Poussin, Ingres, Goya, Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Courbet, Edgar Degas and Paul Cézanne, etc.
Although his technique and compositions were inspired by pre-renaissance painters, there also are eerie intimations of contemporary surrealists like de Chirico. Painting the figure at a time when figurative art was largely ignored, he is widely recognised as an important 20th century artist.