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The Street by Balthus

    The Street by Balthus

    The Street by Balthus was created in 1933. The painting is in Museum of Modern Art, New York. The size of the work is 195 x 240 cm and is made as an oil on canvas.

    The Street, Balthus’s first large painting, was one of several that scandalized audiences when it was included in the artist’s earliest solo exhibition, in Paris in 1934. Balthus rendered each of the figures in his scene of Paris’s rue Bourbon-le-Chateau frozen mid-movement; none of them seem to notice the aggressive sexual struggle underway at the painting’s far left. Balthus eschewed stylistic categorization, but The Street was of great interest to Surrealist artists for its rendering of a crowded street as an uncanny site of mental isolation and for its exploration of sexual taboos. Read more in Museum of Modern Art.

    About the Artist: Polish-French modern artist Balthus (Balthasar Klossowski de Rola) was born in Paris. In 1926 Balthus visited Florence, where he copied many frescos by the Renaissance master Piero della Francesca. From 1930 to 1931 Balthus served in the French army in Morocco. In 1933 he moved to Paris, taking a studio in the Rue de Furstemberg. Later he would move to another studio at the nearby Cour de Rohan. Read more


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