Balthus : A Biography

3.54 (37 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 7-12 business days.

Not ordering to the United States? Click here.


This is the first full-scale biography of one of the most elusive and enigmatic painters of our time: the self-proclaimed Count Balthus Klossowski de Rola, whose brilliant, markedly sexualized portraits, especially of young girls, are among the most memorable images in contemporary art.

Balthus's complexities are clarified and his genius understood in this book that derives its immediacy from Nicholas Fox Weber's long and intense conversations with Balthus himself-who never previously consented to discuss his life and work with a biographer-as well as Weber's interviews with the artist's closest associates. This biography was first published by Knopf in 1999 and is now available for the first time from Dalkey Archive Press.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 644 pages
  • 157 x 231 x 51mm | 1,089g
  • Normal, IL, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 1564789926
  • 9781564789921
  • 799,079

Review quote

"A book that often reads like an update of one of those late novels of Henry James -- as adapted, say, by Vladimir Nabokov -- in which the narrator finds all appearances to be deceptive and every revelation is calculated to raise more questions than it answers." -- Hilton Kramer, Wall Street Journal "Weber explores Balthus's many influences, from the work of Piero della Francesca to psychoanalytic theory and his brother's fascination with the Marquis de Sade... a splendid account of a complex life and as fine an artist's biography as this season is likely to produce." -- Publishers Weekly "Probing the inner man and his work, the author partially explains the mystique that has surrounded this critically acclaimed and self-invented painter whose surreal, sexually charged images are both disturbing and haunting." -- Library Journal
show more

About Nicholas Fox Weber

Nicholas Fox Weber was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and graduated from Columbia College and Yale University. He has curated retrospectives of the work of Josef Albers and Anni Albers, and is the director of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. He is the author of twelve previous books. He lives in Bethany, Connecticut, and Paris.
show more

Rating details

37 ratings
3.54 out of 5 stars
5 24% (9)
4 30% (11)
3 27% (10)
2 14% (5)
1 5% (2)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X