Balthus: Through the Looking Glass (1997)

Genres - Visual Arts  |   Sub-Genres - Art History, Biography, Graphic & Applied Arts  |   Run Time - 72 min.  |   Countries - France   |  
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With this 1997 film, acclaimed documentarist Damian Pettigrew (Fellini: I'm A Born Liar) creates a biographical portrait of Balthasar Klossowski de Rola (1908-2001), also known as Balthus - a French-born modernist painter whose thickly-painted portraits of lyrically-posed, often nude adolescent girls (while non-exploitative) made him both unique and highly controversial in his day. Pettigrew visits Balthus in his Swiss studio, just four years prior to his death, for a firsthand look at the artist's unique creative process. Pettigrew also conducts and interpolates interviews with those in Balthus's family and social circle, and works in still photographs of the artist and his work by such luminaries as Irving Penn and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

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Keywords

controversy, Modernism, painter, portrait, studio