Balthus

"Painting is a language which cannot be replaced by another language. I don’t know what to say about what I paint, really." Balthus quote

BALTHUS - BIOGRAPHY

1908 - Balthasar Kłossowski de Rola, known as Balthus, is born in Paris on February 29.
1914 - Balthus flees France with his family and takes shelter in Switzerland. Soon afterwards, Balthus' parents divorce and young Balthus stays living close to his mother near Geneva.
1919 - Balthus publishes his first book of drawings, "Mitsou", encouraged by the friend and poet Rilke.
1920 - As a teenager, Balthus meets many writers and painters, such as André Gide, Maurice Denis and Pierre Bonnard, all of them his mother's acquaintances.
1922 - Balthus designs sets for a Chinese play at the Staatstheater in Munich, which were later refused.
1924 - Balthus leaves for Paris with his mother and paints his first paintings under the supervision of Pierre Bonnard and Maurice de Vlaminck.
1926 - Balthus spends a summer in Italy where he copies Piero della Francesca's frescoes. Rilke, who had become both his friend and mentor, dies this same year on December 29.
1929 - Balthus' first exhibition is held in 1929 at the Förter gallery in Zürich. About ten of his paintings are shown but without any greater success.
1933 - Balthus moves to Paris and befriends André Derain and Alberto Giacometti.
1934 - Picasso comes to visit Balthus who has an exhibition in April at the art gallery Pierre. In June, the artist attempts suicide in Paris. His paintings will later this same year catch the eye of the art dealer Pierre Matisse.
1938 - Balthus has his first exhibition at the Pierre Matisse gallery in New York. The portrait of Miró that he had painted earlier this year at the demand of Pierre Loeb is exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
1939 - Balthus is mobilized and sent to the front but will, a few months later, be taken out of military service because of an injury.
1950 - Balthus makes sets and costumes for Così fan tutte in the Aix-en-Provence festival.
1953 - Balthus leaves Paris for Château de Chassy, in Burgundy, where he will stay for almost eight years.
1956 - Balthus' work is exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
1961 - Malraux appoints Balthus as the head of the French Academy in Rome at the Villa Médicis.
1962 - While on an assignment in Japan through his work at the Villa Médicis, Balthus comes to meet his future wife Setsuko Ideta.
1968 - Balthus has a son, named Fumio, who later dies just two years old.
1973 - Balthus' daugther Harumi is born.
1977 - The Modern Art Museum in Paris buys the painting "La toilette de Cathy". As his mission in Rome ends, Balthus moved to the Grand Chalet in Rossinière, Switzerland.
1980 - 26 of Balthus' paintings are shown at the Venice Biennale.
2001 - Balthus dies on February 18 in his chalet in Rossinière, leaving behind him a rare legacy: the artist only painted 300 paintings throughout his life.

BALTHUS - THE MAIN EXHIBITIONS

1929 - Gallery Förter, Zurich, Switzerland.
1934 - Gallery Pierre, Paris, France.
1938 - Pierre Matisse gallery, New-York, USA.
1943 - Gallery Moos, Geneva, Switzerland.
1946 - Kunsthalle of Bern, Switzerland.
1956 - Museum of Modern Art of New York, USA.
1968 - Tate Gallery, London, England.
1983 - Museum of Kyoto, Japan.
1993 - Beaux-Arts museum of Lausanne, Switzerland.
2001 - Palazzo Grassi of Venice, Italy.

BALTHUS - BIBLIOGRAPHY

1958 - "Balthus" from Luigi Carluccio, Ed. Galleria Galatea, Torino, Italy.
1979 - Balthus" from Jean Clair, Ed. de la N.R.F., Paris.
1989 - "A Balthus Notebook" of Guy Davenport, Ed. Ecco Press, New-York.
1983 - "Balthus, paintings" from Stanislas Klossowski de Rola, Ed. Hermann.
1990 - "Balthus" from Jean Leymarie, Ed. Skyra, Geneva.
1989 - "Balthus, Catalogue raisonne of the complete works" from Jean Clair and Virginie Monnier, Ed. Gallimard.
2005 - "Le paradoxe Balthus" from Raphaël Aubert, Ed. La Différence.

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