Indiana University Indiana University IU

Artist Balthus (French, 1908–2001)
Title The Window (La fenêtre, Das Fenster)
Date 1933
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions Framed: 72 x 53 1/8 in. (182.9 x 134.9 cm)
Stretcher: 63 5/8 x 45 in. (161.6 x 114.3 cm)
Credit Line Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 70.62

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About this Work

Balthus’s erotic and enigmatic images of young girls cast the spectator in the role of voyeur, an uncomfortable position for many contemporary viewers. In The Window he directly confronts us with a terrified young woman who leans against a windowsill with her

1970, Indiana University Art Museum purchase from Donald Morris Gallery, Detroit, MI

1969–1970, with Donald Morris Gallery, Detroit, MI [1]

1947–1969, Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, NY (purchase from Pierre Colle) [2]

ca. 1939–1947, Collection of Pierre Colle, Paris, France (?) [3]

1934–ca. 1939, with Galerie Pierre, Paris, France [4]


[1] Per Virginie Monnier and Jean Clair, eds. Balthus: catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre complet. Paris: Gallimard, 1999 (cat. rais. no. 72).

[2] The exhibition checklist for the gallery’s 1949 exhibition of works by Balthus confirms that he owned the painting by 1947. (Per Monnier and Clair, cat. rais. no. 72)

[3] Sabine Rewald notes that Matisse bought the painting from Colle in Paris around 1946 to 1947. Colle had become the artist's dealer in 1939 when Loeb closed his gallery to wait out the war in Cuba. The question of Colle’s ownership remains unresolved. See Rewald, "Balthus Lessons," Art in America, Sept. 1997, p. 92 (no footnote or citation provided).

[4] The Window was included in Balthus’s first solo exhibition at this gallery in April 1934. The painting then remained with the gallery for approximately another five years.

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

August 17–November 4, 2007, "Balthus: Aufgehobene Zeit: Gemälde und Zeichnungen 1932–1960," Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany (cat. no. 2)

September 9, 2001–January 6, 2002, "Balthus," Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy (cat. no. 42)

February 20–May 25, 1997, “Années 30 en Europe: Le temps menaçant 1929/1939,” Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris, France

January 23–March 25,1996, "Balthus Retrospective Exhibition," Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain (cat. p. 151)

September 20, 1986–June 29, 1987, "The Window in 20th Century Art," Neuberger Museum State, University of New York at Purchase, New York (cat. p. 69)

November 5, 1983–May 13, 1984, “Balthus,” Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, November 5, 1983-January 23, 1984 (cat. no. 7); traveled to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, February 20, 1984–May 13, 1984 (cat. no. 6)

November 12–December 31, 1980, "Twentieth Century Painting, Sculpture, and Drawing from the Collection of Indiana University Art Museum," The Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL

October 24, 1975–November 30, 1975, “Puvis de Chavannes and the Modern Tradition,” Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada (cat. no. 80)

October 3–October 31, 1973, "Paintings from Midwestern University Collections," Wildenstein Gallery, New York OR October 10, 1973–April 1975 (cat. no. 57)

November 24–December 20, 1969, “A Benefit Exhibition of Balthus Paintings and Drawings for the City School of Detroit,” Donald Morris Gallery, Detroit, MI (cat. no. 3)

September 21–October 28, 1964, “Balthus,” The Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL (cat. no. 4)

February 10–March 2, 1964, “Balthus,” The New Hayden Gallery, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (cat. no. 4)

March 1962, “Balthus Paintings, 1929–1961,” Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, NY (cat. no. 2)

1949, “Balthus,” Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, NY (cat. no. 6)

April 13–April 28, 1934, “Balthus,” Galerie Pierre, Paris, France

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"The Window | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.