Art Brokerage: Balthus French Artist: In the midst of 20th-century avant-gardism, the artist Balthus explored the traditional categories of European painting: the landscape, the still life, the subject painting, and the portrait. He presented ordinary moments of contemporary life on a grand scale and utilized traditional, Old Master painting techniques. Balthus is best known for his controversial depictions of adolescent girls. His disturbing and erotic images and his carefully cultivated persona made him an international cult figure. Later, he built up thick layers of oil paint on his canvases, called an impasto, and painted with bright, warm colors which made the paintings look like frescos executed in plaster. The sense of bright light in them is almost Mediterranean, and it appears to dissolve distinctions between things, a pronounced difference from the sharp focus of his earlier work. Besides this further reference to Renaissance art he also executed work based on Japanese prints. From 1961 to 1977 he served as director of the French Academy in Rome. Born in Paris to Polish parents, he was considered a child prodigy and was encouraged by family friends including Pierre Bonnard, Andre Derain, and Rainer Maria Rilke. Without formal training, he supported himself through commissions for stage sets and portraits. He had his first one-man show in 1934. Born Balthasar Klossowski Feb. 29, 1908, Paris, Fr.died Feb. 18, 2001, La Rossinire, Switz.) Listings wanted.Read More +
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