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Balthus Biography | Art Reproductions | Galerie Dada
Balthus is the pseudonym of Balthasar Klossowski de Rola, who was born in Paris, the son of Polish aristocrats who were both oil painters. Self-taught, Balthus began painting early in life. Balthus's oil paintings are charged with a mysterious atmosphere that can also carry erotic overtones. He is best known for his controversial depictions of adolescent girls in languid poses. The presence of these languid, dreamy girls has often given rise to charges of pedophilic overtones; however, the artist's depiction of these girls has also been interpreted as a truthful, evocative portrayal of the awkwardness of adolescence.
Balthus was given a successful show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1956, and he served as director of the French Academy in Rome from 1961 to 1977 He was honoured with huge retrospectives at the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris in 1983 and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City in 1984. He spent the last two decades of the century as a virtual recluse in Switzerland.