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"Art is to refuse mediocrity."
BALTHUS - Detailed biography

Balthasar Klossowski de Rola, known as « Balthus Â», was born in Paris in 1908. He began to paint early, ecouraged by his mother’s partner, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. He had his first personal exhibition in 1934.

He dedicated his works to various themes: landscapes, scenes of everyday life, portraits, cats and girls nudes. He marked his work with a sexual thematic which was then often considered as scandalous.

Balthus settled in the Chassy castle (Morvan) in 1953 until 1961. The French minister of culture, André Malraux, appointed the artist to be the director of the Villa Medici in Rome, until 1977. He also was set designer and realised costumes for several plays in theatre (Antonin Artaud, Jean-Louis Barrault) and illustrated many works. He settled finally in 1977 in Rossinières, Switzeland. He died there in 2001; the same year was created the Balthus Foundation.