In 2019 the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza will be presenting an exhibition on the legendary artist Balthasar Klossowski de Rola (1908-2001), known as Balthus.
Considered one of the great masters of 20th-century art, Balthus is undoubtedly one of the most unique painters of his time. His diverse, ambiguous work, which has been equally admired and reviled, pursued a direction that ran completely counter to the rise of the avant-gardes. Balthus himself named some of his influences derived from the tradition of art history, ranging from Piero della Francesca to Caravaggio, Poussin, Géricault and Courbet. A more detailed study of his work also reveals references to more recent movements such as Neue Sachlichkeit and his employment of devices derived from 19th-century children’s book illustrations. In his divergence from modernity, which could now be described as “post-modern”, Balthus evolved a personal and unique type of avant-garde art and a figurative style that defies classification. His particular pictorial language, with its use of solid forms and strongly defined outlines, combines the procedures of the Old Masters with certain aspects of Surrealism. The resultig images involve numerous contradictions, juxtaposing tranquillity with extreme tension; reverie and mystery with reality; and eroticism with innocence.
The exhibition, the first retrospective to be held in Spain for more than twenty years, brings together 46 works, mostly paintings in large format, which cover all the stages in his career from the 1920s onwards.
Important information if you select the option with audio guide included: The museum has audio guides available for the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection and temporary exhibitions. The guides offer commentaries on the most important works.
- Permanent collection: Audio guides available in Spanish, English, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Russian, Japanese, Chinese and Korean. Approximate length: 2.5 hours or a shorter 30-minute version, Highlights
- Temporary exhibitions: Audio guides available in Spanish, English and French. Approximate length: 1 hour
- Thematic tours (Food, Sustainability. Some social challenges at the collection works, Fashion, Jewellery, The Museo as a Mirror of Don Quixote, Inclusive love, Wine Cultre in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection): Audio guides available in Spanish and English. Approximate length: 45 minutes
- The audio guide can be rented from 10.00am to 6.00pm