Teasing entry into the article
Well, let’s slip into the World of the shocking, weird, and exciting art created by an extraordinary artist. Most of his paintings depicted young girls, most of them half-nude. The society used to stick labels as ”good” and “bad” art, or to consider his paintings, the most well-known phrase is “This is the child porn.” Balthus himself said that he had drawn angels and virgin beauty. Anyway, there are no clear-cut opinions, and his paintings no one will remain indifferent.
Is it famous painter Andre Derain, depicted in the painting created by Balthus? I have found some photos of Andre and will show them to you. What do you think?
This photo is “The Wildmen of Paris” – if this looks like the men in the painting? As for me, yes, it is him. But why Balthus painted him wearing a housecoat with a very young lady. Finally, who knows if it happened? Why he poses with a child sitting in an erotic pose. Or Balthus just made this scene up, and he is aware of the secret life of Andre?
Some thoughts about the girl in the painting, we analyzed her body position and her appearance.
Who is this girl? She is relaxed, sitting with closed eyes and a closed mouth. We see only one hand; it is between legs. One nipple of her tits is outside, and her skirt is quite mangled. Look at her hair; she is gray-haired. If you look closely at her neck, then you will find some tracks. I searched for information about her, but have not found any info. I also have not found about the children of Andre and Balthus. Altogether it can be said that we see a quickly grown old young woman with a tired experienced body.
About Andre Derain in the painting, I hope you will find our thoughts interesting.
Look at his face, what do you think about his facial features? I asked to analyze their faces on one of the face scanners on my iPhone just for fun. Here what I got about Andre:
You are brilliant and innocent in your appearance and presenting things such as your car or room.
You always think before you act. You never really show impulsive behavior.
You have a very high standard of cleanliness and hygiene that others usually find hard to follow.
But as for me, he looks like a naughty child in need of a smack. In this painting, Balthus changed the appearance of these two persons. The lady looks like an adult (she lost her childhood), and the men look like a mature overgrown baby.
It’s known that Balthus and Andre have been friends and even organized an exhibition together. Honestly, to say, it is bizarre to express friendship in such a manner – painting a portrait with a nude young lady. Nowadays, such a picture could become a relly compromising material. Today, he would get some trouble right up to imprisonment.
Guitar lesson painting Balthus
The master created the Guitar Lesson painting in 1934; Balthus drew it in surrealism style. The dimension of the “Guitar lesson” painting is 161.3 x 138.4 cm or 63.50 * 54.48 inches. Currently, the original image is in a private collection. There depicted a half-naked young lady and her guitar teacher (it isn’t very sure), also a half-naked woman with nude breasts. The girl is getting punished for bad behavior or not good at learning guitar, nobody knows. A looking man can only imagine and think of the real reason. Also, very interesting who could pose for Balthus, cos this is a pretty candy position. Most people looking at this piece of art are shocked because of the nude scene and the girl’s youthful appearance. Some people think that it is child porno; others believe that it is a mysterious and exciting art.
Some thoughts about the painting among the art lover:
The first idea that pops up to my head is why the girl is without underpants. Not clear if the girl is suffering or enjoying, because her face says nothing about pain and suffering. Also, look at the teacher’s eyes and nipples. Her breast is stong, like as she sexually aroused – not the typical behavior of an ordinary teacher. It is not a common guitar lesson and not a common way of punishment for students.
It is curious who poses for the artist and how long they stayed in this position – the girl without pants and the teacher with nude breasts. Quite a spicy scene, isn’t it?
People, who are not familiar with the creativity of Balthus, who had not looked to the painting carefully and do not know about the history of Balthus, and his life’s circumstances, looking at the piece of art, could say, “This is old times porn” or “Oh My God, what a shame! This picture is a dirty painting with depicted whore!”. But if to learn more about the artist’s life, and to know about the moment of history where the painter lived, the watcher will find a deep meaning and enigmatic facts.
First of all, not clear – she sleeps, or she has died, and if she is dead, how the young lady killed and why. There are two details on the painting that make us think about the deep meaning of the image and forget about sexuality and nudity: 1) the knife near the head of the girl, 2) lack of blood, and any injuries. If a knife did not kill her, then how was she killed? Maybe she could have been strangled. But we do not see any patterns on her neck. We can only guess this fact, and there is no one whom we can ask about it. We are aware that Balthus started creating Victim just before the Second World War started and finished it after the war ended. He lived in Switzerland for about seven years, and the unfinished piece of art stayed in his studio in Paris all that time.
The Therese Dreaming
‘The girl sits back on the pillow in a sluggish but erotic pose. She sleeps, the short wrapped skirt does not hide the panties.’ These words are the opinion of one who wanted to remove the painting from the New York exhibition. Other ideas also exist; they are more about art. Sabine Rewald – the New York exhibition manager, thinks that his works are full of tension. Balthus excluded all toys; the girl’s pose is not relaxed; people do not dream in such a body position. The posture of the girl is very awkward and not natural.
Some people think that drinking milk gray cat symbolizes some hidden erotic meaning. But as for me, the cat looks very sad and not bringing any erotic feeling. What about cats’ eyes, are they closed, or the cat is blind. I never saw that cats could eat with closed eyes. If to sum up all my impressions after looking at this painting, it is fair to say that there is no impropriety in this piece of art, only beauty and deep hidden meanings that shows the atmosphere of those hard times and the artist’s worries.
Honestly, to say, the first time if I saw paintings of Balthus, my first expression was like as a lot of people think: “This is old child-porn.” The more I got to know about artists’ history, worries, and small details of paintings, the more my opinion changed. Now I look at his pieces of art more carefully, searching some deep meanings and nuances.