With its Balthus exhibition, the Fondation Beyeler presents one of the last great masters of twentieth-century art, and also one of modern art's most singular and controversial exponents.

This extensive presentation takes as its starting point Balthus' key work Passage du Commerce-Saint-André (1952–1954), which has been on permanent loan from a major Swiss private collection to the Fondation Beyeler for many years.

The artist had close ties to Switzerland. He spent his childhood years in Bern, Geneva and Beatenberg, his first wife Antoinette de Watteville was Bernese, and together they lived in both French- and German-speaking Switzerland. The last decades of his life were spent in the imposing Grand Chalet in Rossinière.

In the 1930s, he became close friends with Alberto Giacometti, whose art he greatly admired.

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