Balthus (Polish-French: 1908-2001); Still Life with a Figure (1942); oil on paper mounted on wood; 30" x 36".
Balthus never explained his paintings, leaving it up to the viewer to look and reflect. The bread and wine on the table gives a sense of the symbolism of the Last Supper in the Christian religion. Notice how the knife is pierced through the bread which can be viewed as symbolizing the crucifixion of Christ. His bowl of fruit harks back to the still life paintings of the Dutch era (1600's) whereby the objects on the table refer to the fleeting materiality of life. A young person (male or female) holds back an elaborate curtain. The scene is at one historical and contemporary.