View Full Version : ID this bizarre painting?

Juliette: Culture Junkie
07-01-2009, 08:51 PM

This painting hangs in a hotel room in San Jose, Costa Rica. All of the other paintings I saw in the hotel were fine art prints or botanical illustrations. This painting does not seem to fit with the decor at all, and my roommate and I were perplexed by it. We asked the hotel manager, but he could not tell us who painted it and it seems to be unsigned. He suggested that it might be a Salvador Dali painting, but we are both passingly familiar with Dali and don't think it looks like his style. It looks like it may be a print, as opposed to an original painting.

As far as I can tell, this painting depicts a nude woman, asleep or dead, reclining on a chaise and facing a window. Her face is not clearly visible, but she appears to be wearing shoes. Across from the chaise and reclining woman, a sinister-looking little girl pulls the curtain open to let in sunlight or to expose the woman. The little girl looks like she may be wearing a mask, or she might just be funny-looking. One of her legs looks much skinnier than the other, or one of them looks possibly prosthetic. She looks like maybe she is scowling, and her face (or mask) has the same features as the cat that sits on a bookcase next to the window. The cat looks like it might be a statue.

Can anyone identify the painter or title of this painting, or explain what this scene might mean to depict?

Any interpretations are welcome, and if you notice any other unusual details please point them out. This photo is not extremely clear, but might do. The shadow under the reclining woman is the reflection of my camera.

gallows fodder
07-01-2009, 09:19 PM
I can't say for certain, but the style reminds me of Balthus (http://www.artchive.com/artchive/B/balthus.html). If you do a Google Images search on "Balthus", you'll see similarly posed women (I'd link you, but they're probably NSFW), although his figures look more realistic than the two girls in your painting.

gallows fodder
07-01-2009, 09:29 PM
Found it! (I don't know what the policy here is on linking to nude art, so I'll break the link.)

http : // oldpainting.blogspot.com/2009/04/balthus-la-chambre-1954.html

Juliette: Culture Junkie
07-01-2009, 09:39 PM
Yes! I found it on Google as well. The title is "La Chambre", by Balthus. Thank you so much!

Of course, interpretations of this painting are still welcome.

07-01-2009, 09:43 PM
That Balthus must have been one twisted dude. I don't think I could sleep in a hotel which considered that restful enough to put in a room. [shudder] Actually, I could probably sleep, but I wouldn't be able to shower; I'd be waiting for the manager's "mother" to walk into the bathroom.

gallows fodder
07-01-2009, 10:47 PM
Yeah, dude was interesting, to say the least. Check out his painting "Guitar Lesson" for more soul-disturbance.

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