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BALTHUS, otherwise Balthasar Klossowski de Rola.


Preface by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Published: Erlenbach-Zurich and Leipzig, Rotapfel-Verlag, 1921

Stock code: 60613

Price: £6,000

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First edition, first impression. Balthus’s extraordinary first publication. The precocious 12-year-old Balthus created this remarkable pictorial tale of a young boy and his cat in a series of expressionist woodcuts. His endeavours were championed by Rilke ostensibly because of a respect for the work but possibly more to do with the affair he was conducting with Balthus’s mother.

Small quarto. Original wrapper covered limp boards, titles to front cover in black. Housed in a black quarter morocco solander box by the Chelsea Bindery. Illustrated with 40 images by Balthus. Wrappers age toned and lightly chipped to spine tips, label lifted from pastedown, owner’s name to inside flap and half title, an excellent copy.

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