Balthazar Klossowski de Rola

( French, 1908 - 2001 )

Portrait of a Girl


Original lithograph printed in black and gray ink on Arches paper with full margins and lower deckled edge. After a crayon drawing by Balthus. Hand signed by the artist "Balthus" in pencil, lower right, and numbered lower left, "137/150.” From the album of six lithographs entitled "Dessins" printed by Atelier Desjobers, Paris. Published by Editions de la Tempete and Editions Enrico Navarra, Paris, 1994.

Image size: 22 3/4” x 16 1/4”, framed: 37 1/4" x 30 1/4"

Balthus is one of the world's most distinguished artists. In his work he has always resisted the fashion of the day and remained true to traditional techniques and subjects.

Of Polish and Russian background, Balthus spent his early childhood in Paris, although German was his first language. His parents were both painters and he grew up surrounded by artists such as Monet, Bonnard and Derain. In adolescence he holidayed in Switzerland, with his mother and her intimate friend, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. Balthus fell in love with the Swiss landscape, in which he ultimately made his home.

During the 1930s he lived and worked in Paris, moving south to Chassy in the 1950's, where he lived in Chateau de Chassy until 1961. Throughout this period he was appreciated only by a small band of artists and writers including Picasso, Giacometti and Camus, and supported by a consortium of patrons. In 1961 he was appointed Director of the French Academy in Rome and around this time his work achieved the widespread recognition that had previously eluded him.

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