They have come from the estate of Frédérique Tison, the artist’s model and muse. The majority date from the period 1953-61 when Balthus left Paris to live at the Château de Chassy, a rural retreat in the hilly district of Morvan, Burgundy, where Tison continued to live after Balthus left and where these works have remained.
Most of the collection comprises works on paper: landscapes, still-lifes, figure studies and interiors and includes preparatory sketches for major paintings.
Pictured here is Balthus’ c.1952-54 preparatory study for his painting Le Passage du Commerce Saint-André, a work he had started in Paris. The 12¼ x 9½in (31 x 24 cm) charcoal on paper study monogrammed Bs has another charcoal study, for L’Enfant et l’oiseau to the verso.