Balthus (Balthazar Klossowski De Rola, 1908-2001)
Balthus (Balthazar Klossowski De Rola, 1908-2001)

Résurrection (d'après Piero della Francesca)

Balthus (Balthazar Klossowski De Rola, 1908-2001)
Résurrection (d'après Piero della Francesca)
oil over pencil on board
12¼ x 11¼ in. (31 x 28.5 cm.)
painted in 1926
Professor Jean Strohl, Zürich (gift from the artist).
Marguerite Bleuler, Zürich.
Jan Krugier, by descent from the above, 1983.
S. Rewald, Balthus, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1984, pp. 16 and 18 (illustrated, p. 18, fig. 13).
C. Prete and R. Varese, Piero Interpretato: copie, giudizi e musealizzazione di Piero della Francesca, Ancona, 1998, pp. 58 and 64, fig. 18 (illustrated).
J. Clair and V. Monnier, Balthus: Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre complet, Paris, 1999, p. 104, no. P 21 (illustrated in color, p. 64 and illustrated again, p. 105).
N. Fox Weber, Balthus: A Biography, New York, 1999, pp. 112-116
(illustrated, p. 114).
Bevaix, Galerie Arts Anciens, Balthus: peintures, aquarelles, dessins, November-December 1975, no. 1.
Rome, Galleria Forni, Arte Segreta, March-April 1987, p. 2 (illustrated).
Venice, Centro di Cultura di Palazzo Grassi, Balthus, September 2001-January 2002, p. 178, no. 10 (illustrated in color, p. 179).
Vevey, Musée Jenisch, Balthus: de Piero della Francesca à Alberto Giacometti, May-August 2002, p. 127, no. 3 (illustrated in color, p. 23).

Lot Essay

During the summer of 1926, the eighteen-year-old Balthus travelled to Italy. The trip was made possible through the genrosity of Jean Strohl, a professor of Zoology in Zürich and a friend of the artist's father, as well as the first owner of the present work. From Italy Balthus wrote often to his sponsor. "He described his thrill over Piero's frescoes and his love affair with Italy in general. He told his patrons that, having been haunted by the desire to make this journey, he had considered it dangerous to antcipate it, putting himself at risk of disappointment. Now his ecstacy was almost beyond measure--at seeing cypress trees that were like toys, at the balance and precision and unprecedented harmony of Piero's frescoes in Arezzo, at the divine mastery of his art... The eighteen-year-old's version of the Sansepolcro Resurrection (fig. 1) testifies to this combination of respectfulness and self-confidence which he responded to his artistic hero. In love with the past, the young artist made his own, highly personal selection of its offerings. He was devoted--but not enslaved" (N. Fox Weber, op. cit., p. 114)

(fig. 1) Piero della Francesca, Resurrection, fresco. Borgo Sansecolcro, Museo Civico.

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