Balthus: A Biography, 1999

Published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York; Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London



“With the artist's approval, Weber has created a portrait of the elusive and mysterious Balthus. Probing the inner man and his work, the author partially explains the mystique that has surrounded this critically acclaimed and self-invented painter whose surreal, sexually charged images are both disturbing and haunting.”

— Library Journal

"A highly regarded art historian (Patron Saints), Weber ingeniously structures his biography of 91-year-old Balthazar Klossowska, or Balthus, by draping his voluminous investigations over facts that emerged during his visit with the famously reclusive painter and his Japanese wife at their elegant Swiss chalet in 1991."

— Publishers Weekly


The first full-scale biography of one of the most elusive and enigmatic painters of our time – the self-proclaimed Count Balthus Klossowski de Rola – whose brilliantly rendered, markedly sexualized portraits, especially of young girls, are among the most memorable images in contemporary art.

The story of Balthus’s life has been shrouded by contradiction and hearsay, most of it his own invention; over the years he created for himself a persona of mystery, aristocracy, and glamour. Now, in Nicholas Fox Weber’s superb biography, Balthus, the man and the artist, stands revealed as never before.