French painter and stage designer, born Balthazar Klossowski de Rola in Paris of Polish descent; both his parents were painters and his father also wrote a standard monograph on Daumier. Grew up in Paris and Switzerland, where the close friends of the household included Rilke, Bonnard and Derain. Taught himself painting partly by copying Renaissance masters in the Louvre and in Italy. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie Pierre, Paris, (1934). Chiefly noted for his carefully constructed figure compositions with echoes of Piero della Francesca, Caravaggio, Courbet and Seurat, but often on the theme of landscapes, scenes of daily life, cats and naked adolescent girls in a voluptuous universe of nostalgic timelessness. From 1943-6 he lived in Switzerland, then returned to Paris. Designed sets and costumes for several plays. Moved in 1954 to the Chateau de Chassy near Autun, then was appointed Director of the Académie de France in Rome 1961-77. Awarded the Grand Prix National des Arts, 1976.