Balthus Quotes

Painting is the passage from the chaos of the emotions to the order of the possible.

Painting is a language which cannot be replaced by another language. I don’t know what to say about what I paint, really.

I always feel the desire to look for the extraordinary in ordinary things; to suggest, not to impose, to leave always a slight touch of mystery in my paintings.

Painting is a source of endless pleasure, but also of great anguish.

One must always draw, draw with the eyes, when one cannot draw with a pencil.

If you speak of beauty, you are at once suspected of…kitsch.

I had only planned to strike the gong violently in order to somehow shake people up and make them more aware. I think I succeeded.

The craft of painting has virtually disappeared. There is hardly anyone left who really possesses it. For evidence one has only to look at the painters of this century.

Painting what I experience, translating what I feel, is a great liberation. But it is also work, self-examination, consciousness, criticism, struggle.

The best way to begin is to say: ‘Balthus is a painter of whom nothing is known. And now let us have a look at the paintings’.

I refuse to confide and don’t like it when people write about art.

I will always find even the worst paintings that attempt some kind of representation better than the best invented paintings.