Balthus, The Living Room, 1941-43, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Permanent Collection.  Source: Flickr

Art history is rarely mindful of those who don’t fit neatly into its narratives, and the painter Balthus (1908–2001), who passed away last year at age ninety-two, has never really been a part of its story. Scorned by his detractors for his unregenerate representationalism and for the erotic overtones of his pictures of young girls, Balthus was never a modernist, though he lived during its headiest years and counted many of its protagonists among his friends. So it seems fitting that, during a spring season...


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