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Monday, January 23, 2012

Balthus ; (Balthasar Klossowski de Rola)


The Cat in the Mirror
c.1990
oil on canvas
195 x 220 cm
Private Collection

Count Balthasar Klossowski (or Kłossowski) de Rola (1908 – 2001), best known as Balthus, was an esteemed but controversial Polish-French modern artist. His mother engaged, under the name of Baladine, in a long-lasting relationship with the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who acted as Balthus’s mentor, providing etchings to accompany many of his poems.

Throughout his career, Balthus rejected the usual conventions of the art world. He insisted that his paintings should be seen and not read about, and he resisted any attempts made to build a biographical profile. A telegram sent to the Tate Gallery as it prepared for its 1968 retrospective of his works read: "NO BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS. BEGIN: BALTHUS IS A PAINTER OF WHOM NOTHING IS KNOWN. NOW LET US LOOK AT THE PICTURES. REGARDS. B."

Appreciated for many years by only a handful of collectors, and ostensibly out of step with the modern movement, Balthus’s classically inspired work won the recognition and admiration of a wider public only late in his career.
http://www.imaginarymuseum.net/view/flipcard