Vanished Splendors: A Memoir

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9780066212609: Vanished Splendors: A Memoir

The painter Balthus, whose tenacity and cultivated taste for secrecy have enveloped him in an aura of forbidding mystery, wrote this memoir at the end of his long life. A man who for decades opted to "give expression to the world" rather than to "express" himself speaks for the first and only time about his life, family, work, his theory of art and how it intersects with history, literature, and spirituality. Balthus was born Balthasar Klossowski in 1908 to Polish art historian Erich Klossowski and his wife, the painter Elisabeth Dorothea Spiro. The family lived in Germany, France, and Switzerland. In this memoir Balthus describes his childhood with his mother and her lover -- the poet Rainer Maria Rilke -- who became Balthus's own spiritual mentor. He evokes la vie de boheme in Paris during the 1920s, his friendships with Picasso, Derain, Artaud, Giacometti, Saint-ExupEry, RenE Char, Pierre Jean Jouve, and Albert Camus. He discusses his paintings, offers glimpses into his marriage, and expresses his passion for Chinese art and the Swiss chalets and Italian villas that he helped to restore.

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Balthus, Benjamin Ivry (Translator), Joyce Carol Oates (Introduction)
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Book Description Ecco, NY, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. NEW BOOK and DJ, both MINT. // Hardcover, 237 pp. Inconspicuous black mark on bottom. DJ price clipped. // "'We are most charmed by the memior's ease of expression, as if Balthus were confiding in us, as individuals,' writes Joyce Carol Oates in her introduction." Size: Octavo. Bookseller Inventory # 000761

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