Balthus et Rossiniere


Balthus, his wife Setsuko and their daughter Harumi arrived in my home village, Rossiniere around 1977-78 and established themselves at the Grand Chalet, historical monument of the region, magnificient wooden chalet built around 1754.

I was 7 and I remember the sight of this Japanese woman bringing her child to the village school for the first time. Setsuko was dressed in a traditional Japanese kimono and looked like coming from another world to the seven year old child that I was. After a while, a few girls of the village, including me, became friend with Harumi and occasionally we played at the Grand Chalet.

Photo from

I got to look at Balthus’ work only later in life. Art is like poetry I think. I had to mature to be able to access and appreciate.

Balthus, who in the early years of his life, had a strong connection with Rainer Maria Rilke (one of my favorite author), had many artists and poets visiting and walking the paths of my little village.

The Mediterranee Cat by Balthus (

Balthus died in 2001. His wife Setsuko still lives in Rossiniere.

Grateful for this culture and art enrichment and for my Swiss roots!!


3 thoughts on “Balthus et Rossiniere

  1. hey sister, it’s emiko from instagram! i havent visited your blog. my first time here! and this is a beautiful story! btw, my mom’s name is setsuko too.

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