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  • Balthus. La retrospettiva
    Balthus. The retrospective
    Roma - Exhibitions, from 24/10/15 to 31/01/16

Balthus. The retrospective



With a major monographic exhibition split between two exhibition centres, Rome is getting set to mark the fifteenth anniversary of the death of Balthasar Klossowski de Role, known as Balthus (1908–2001), one of the most original and enigmatic masters of the 20th century, whose relationship with the Eternal City was a crucial element in the formation of his art.

Approximately two hundred works of art, among paintings, drawings and photographs, from some of the leading museums and most prestigious private collections in Europe and the United States, offer the visitor a fascinating opportunity to explore Balthus' art in two different venues:  at the Scuderie del Quirinale with a complete retrospective built around his best-known masterpieces; and at the Villa Medici with an exhibition that, through the works realized during his roman stay, highlights in-depth analysis of his working method, his creative process, his use of models, his techniques, his recourse to photography.

Born in Paris to a Polish father, who was a renown art critic, while his mother was a Russian painter who maintained a lively presence in leading cultural circles, Balthus spent his childhood in Berlin, Berne and Geneva, following in his restless parents' footsteps and returning to France only in 1924 after soaking up Mittel European culture. Dazzled at an early age by the Tuscan Renaissance masters, and by Piero della Francesca in particular, whom he discovered on a first trip, in 1926, Balthus conceived his compositions with a figurative thought and logical clarity that he inherited from Italian art.  It is precisely that tradition, supplemented by his familiarity with the Italian Magical Realism and Metaphysical movements as well as with German New Objectivity, that spawned the enigmatically static quality which was to become such a distinctive feature of his painting production, especially from the 1930s.  After the war, Balthus' brushwork became denser while his iconography, more oriented towards the nude, developed the theme of the adolescent girl captured in moments of intimacy or contemplation.

His youthful passion for Italian culture was amply repaid in 1961 when he began an extended spell as director of the French Academy in Rome - Villa Medici.  In the performance of that role, lasted 17 years, Balthus further developed the practice of drawing and painting and promoted a major programme of restoration both of the building and of the villa's historical gardens, which are accessible to the visitors of the exhibition.


Info and booking

Find it on the map

For individuals or groups
+39 06 39967500

For schools
848 082 408

Balthus. The retrospective




Admission ticket
  • - Full € 12
  • - Reduced € 9.50
Other Reduced
  • Reduced price ages 7/18 € 6.00


    Children under 7 free admission 


    Admission to exhibitions at the Scuderie del Quirinale and at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni for students, researchers and undergraduates registered with public or private universities in Rome costs € 4.00 on Fridays and Saturdays, after 7.00 pm until the box office closes

    Reduced price for:
    - young people under 27
    - senior citizens over 65
    - teachers
    - groups with special concessions
    - forces of law and order and the military on producing an ID
    - journalists with press card (professional, practitioner, freelance) special reduced € 7,00

    Free admission for:
    - children under 7
    - disabled (free admission for the person accompanying them)
    - Regione Lazio tourist guides
    - Regione Lazio tourist escorts
    - interpreters accompanying the guides
    - ICOM and ICROM card holders


    From Monday to Friday € 9.50 per person
    Saturday, Sunday and Holidays € 12.00 per person
    Reservation fee required for groups € 30.00 and schools € 20.00



  • The Guided Tours for groups reservation required
    groups € 100.00* (max 25 people) - tel. +39 06 39967500.

    *Ticket's price excluded

  • The Guided Tours for schools reservation required
    schools € 80,00* (max 25 persone) - tel. 848 082 408

    *Ticket's price excluded

Didactic Tours and other Services to buy
  • Individual guided tour in Italian 

    Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10.30 – 12.00- 16.30 – 18.00

    € 4,00 (ticket's price excluded)