Vanished Splendors

Vanished Splendors

A Memoir

Book - 2002
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
The late twentieth-century painter describes his childhood with his mother and her lover, poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who was Balthus's mentor; his sometimes misunderstood works; and his relationship with his beloved wife and daughter.

HARPERCOLL

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-Exupéry, René 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. He recalls touching moments with his beloved daughter Harumi and the inspiration he drew from his cats. Also, in a kind of final lesson, Balthus shares his thoughts about painting and creation, denounces contemporary art as being illusory and deceitful, and talks candidly about his Catholic faith and how it inspired his work.

"We are most charmed by the memoir's ease of expression, as if Balthus were confiding in us, as individuals," writes Joyce Carol Oates in her introduction to Vanished Splendors. "We are brought into a startling intimacy with genius."



Blackwell North Amer
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. He recalls touching moments with his beloved daughter Harumi and the inspiration he drew from his cats. Also, in a kind of final lesson, Balthus shares his thoughts about painting and creation, denounces contemporary art as being illusory and deceitful, and talks candidly about his Catholic faith and how it inspired his work.

Baker
& Taylor

The late twentieth-century painter describes his childhood with his mother and her lover, poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who was Balthus's mentor; his sometimes misunderstood works; his relationship with his beloved wife and daughter; his directorship of the Villa Medicis, and more.

Publisher: New York : Ecco, 2002
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9780066212609
006621260X
Branch Call Number: 759.4 BALTH BALTH
Additional Contributors: Vircondelet, Alain

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at GL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top