BALTHUS
The artist who had adopted this pseudonym was born February 29, 1908 of a family of artists of Polish origin. He has always painted, and since the age of sixteen has devoted himself exclusively to painting. Part of his childhood was spent in Switzerland. Rainer-Maria Rilke becomes interested in his childish paintings where already his special world appears. He has no teachers but soon knows Bonnard and Derain who often visit his parents. One of his fundamental themes which is strikingly evident in his early canvases is "the obsession with attitudes, with secret relationships and conducts which mark the change over from childhood to adolescence" ( Georges Bernier, L'Œil, March 1956). Always living a life apart and hostile to publicity, he has retired to the country after having worked for a long time in Paris. Each year sees a deeper regard to his work to which he devotes himself with restless energy. In addition to painting he has designed theatre décors, notably La Peste and L'Etat de Siège of Albert Camus. In the field of book illustration he has made drawings, which remain unpublished for Wuthering Heights. He exhibited in 1946 at the Galerie des Beaux-Arts, in 1948 at Renou and Colle's, and in 1956 at the Galerie des Beaux-Arts.
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