Balthus (Balthasar Klossowski de Rola)Still Life with a Figure 1940

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Artwork details

Still Life with a Figure
Date 1940
MediumOil paint on paper mounted onto wood
Dimensionssupport: 729 x 928 mm frame: 910 x 1100 x 65 mm
Acquisition Bequeathed by Simon Sainsbury 2006, accessioned 2008
On loan to Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum (Tokyo, Japan)


This oil painting is dominated by an arrangement of still life on a tabletop. To the far right of the table, an enigmatic, young female figure appears in profile. She is cut off sharply at the image’s right border so that only her head, with its wavy, reddish hair, her hands, and one yellow-green sleeve, are visible. The composition has an underlying structure of lines, which include the vertical stripes of the wallpaper in the background and the table’s horizontal and diagonal edges. These produce a sense of order and definition although the space that the table and the girl occupy is ambiguous and strangely compressed… (read more)

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