FrenchmanB althasar Klossowski de Rola, much better known asB althus, maintained throughout his lifetime (1908 – 2001) with a constant relationship with the scandal. And the reason is that since his first exhibitions, one of his favorite art themes was painting girls charged with sensuality, and even eroticism. And although he always said that those little ones did not interest him beyond being perfect angelic representations of innocence, the truth is that the suspicion of pedophilia and the scandal permeated several moments of his life.
B althus Street
Even in works like this, where the subject is less explicit, there is also some sexual treatment of a girl. In this painting of The Street, painted in 1933, when it was exhibited, it drew attention to the scene that takes place on the left side, where a girl appears to be fighting a fight to avoid sexual assault by an adult.
That was what most attracted the comments on the work, but the truth is that this canvas has many other points of interest. For example, you have to know that it portrays a real Parisian street, rue Bourbon-le-Château, but gives it a somewhat surreal, theatrical appearance. Something that is present in many other paintings by the author, and we must not forget the excellent relationship he had with authors of that style such asAndré Bretón. Although it is true that the list of intellectual friends ofB althus was very extensive, since as a member of a French family settled in the intellectual elite he knew everyone, from Picasso to Camus, fromMan Ray to Cocteau or Giacomenti. That is to say, she has an enormous cultural richness and that is also seen in her compositions.
For example, the Renaissance artistPiero della Francescawas a reference in her painting. And here I may pay him a peculiar tribute with that carpenter carrying a wooden beam, whose posture may recall a scene from the Leyenda de la Vera Cruz frescoes that the Italian artist painted in the 15th century in Arezzo.
But as we say the universe of B althus is very rich, and here it seems to present us with something similar to a frieze, where the figures are stylized and paralyzed in the middle of the street. Some aren't even real, like the curbside cook, who is actually a publicity stunt, but whose appearance fits in perfectly with the rest.
Critics have tried to relate the scene to the book Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Alicia herself would be the girl who is crouched down and has been caught playing. The man with the beam could be identified with Carroll's carpenter or the young man walking towards us would be the character Tweedledum.
Although all this is still a critical interpretation. What does seem confirmed is that everything you see on this Parisian street is stopped in time and immobile. Except thecouple who fight, but nobody pays attention, thus also showing the idea of social isolation.