Balthasar Klossowski de Rola (February 29, 1908 – February 18, 2001), known as Balthus, was a Polish-French modern artist. He is known for his erotically charged images of pubescent girls, but also for the refined, dreamlike quality of his imagery.
Throughout his career, Balthus rejected the usual conventions of the art world. He insisted that his paintings should be seen and not read about, and he resisted attempts to build a biographical profile. Nevertheless, towards the end of his life he took part in a series of dialogues with the neurobiologist Semir Zeki, conducted at his chalet at Rossinière, Switzerland and at the Palazzo Farnese (French Embassy) in Rome. They were published in 1995 under the title La Qûete de l'essentiel, and in them he gives some of his views on art, painting and some other painters. See also Ref.