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Balthus was born Balthasar Klossowski de Rola in Paris on February 29, 1908. Klossowski is a name that goes back for centuries in the Polish nobility, but he is also descended from the Gordons of Scotland, the most notable of whom was Lord Byron. His father was a noted critic whose house was always full of artists, writers, musicians, poets, psychologists and philosophers. For young Balthasar, the talk in the salon was an education in itself. < (showing 500 of 3953 characters).