Giovanni Boldini

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Self-portrait (1892)
Giovanni Boldini (1910)

Giovanni Boldini (31 December 1842 in Ferrara, Italy – 11 July 1931 in Paris, France) was an Italian genre and portrait painter. According to a 1933 article in Time magazine, he was known as the "Master of Swish" because of his flowing style of painting.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Boldini was born in Ferrara, the son of a painter of religious subjects, and in 1862 went to Florence for six years to study and pursue painting. He only infrequently attended classes at the Academy of Fine Arts, but in Florence, met other realist painters known as the Macchiaioli. Their influence is seen in Boldini's landscapes which show his spontaneous response to nature, although it is for his portraits that he became best known.

Moving to London, Boldini attained success as a portraitist. He completed portraits of premier members of society including Lady Holland and the Duchess of Westminster.[2] From 1872 he lived in Paris, where he became a friend of Edgar Degas. He also became the most fashionable portrait painter in Paris in the late 19th century, with a dashing style of painting which shows some Impressionist influence but which most closely resembles the work of his contemporaries John Singer Sargent and Paul Helleu. He was nominated commissioner of the Italian section of the Paris Exposition in 1889, and received the Légion d'honneur for this appointment.

A Boldini portrait of his former muse Marthe de Florian, a French actress, was discovered in a Paris flat in late 2010, hidden away from view on the premises that were unvisited for 70 years. The portrait has never been listed, exhibited or published and the flat belonged to de Florian's granddaughter who went to live in the South of France at the outbreak[3] of the Second World War and never returned.[4] A love-note and a biographical reference to the work painted in 1888, when the actress was 24, cemented its authenticity. The full length portrait of the lady in the same clothing and accessories, but less provocative, hangs in the New Orleans Museum of Art.

References in modern culture[edit]

Giovanni Boldini is a character in the ballet Franca Florio, regina di Palermo, written in 2007 by the Italian composer Lorenzo Ferrero, which depicts the story of Donna Franca, a famous Sicilian aristocrat whose exceptional beauty inspired him and many other artists, musicians, poets and emperors during the Belle Époque.

Gallery[edit]

Paintings[edit]

Year Title Image Collection Comments
1865 Self-Portrait, oil on canvas view Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Palazzo Pitti, Florence Subject: Giuseppe Boldini
1873 The Model and the Mannequin, oil on panel Boldini, Model and Manequin.jpg Private
1873 The Guitar Player, oil on canvas Boldini, The Guitar Player.jpg Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute at Williamstown, USA
1873 Gossip, oil on wood view Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
1875 Ladies of the First Empire view Vanderbilt collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art
1878 Lady admiring a Fan Boldini, Lady admiring Fan.jpg
1878 Newspaperman in Paris (The newspaper) Boldini, Newspaperman.jpg
1879 The Dispatch-Bearer (c. 1879), oil on wood view Metropolitan Museum of Art
1884 The Mondona Singer Boldini, The Mondona Singer.jpg
ca 1885 The Actress Rejane and her Dog, oil on canvas Boldini, The Actress Rejane and her Dog.jpg Private Subject:Gabrielle Réjane (1856-1920; French actress)
1885 The Girl with a Black Cat Boldini, The Girl with a Black Cat.jpg
1885 Portrait of Mrs. Charles Warren-Cram, oil on canvas view Metropolitan Museum of Art Subject: Ella Brooks Carter (1846–1896)
1881-86 Two White Horses Boldini, Two White Horses.jpg
1886 Portrait of Giuseppe Verdi Verdi.jpg National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome Subject: Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901)
1888 Woman in Black who Watches the Pastel of Signora Emiliana Concha de Ossa, oil on canvas Boldini, Woman in Black.jpg
1888 Portrait of Sarah Bernhardt Bernhardt, Sarah di Giovanni Boldini.jpg Subject: Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923; French stage and film actress)
1888 Portrait of Marthe de Florian Boldini Marthe de Florian.jpg Private Rediscovered in 2010
1890 Portrait of John Singer Sargent (c. 1890), oil on panel Giovanni Boldini (1842-1931) -John Singer Sargent(Standing).jpg Subject: John Singer Sargent (1856–1925; American artist and portrait painter)
1890 Portrait of John Singer Sargent (c. 1890), oil on panel Giovanni Boldini (1842-1931) - A Portrait of John Singer Sargent.jpg Subject: John Singer Sargent (1856–1925; American artist and portrait painter)
1892 Portrait of Josefina Errázuriz Alvear, oil on canvas Boldini Giovanni, Giovinetta Errazuriz.jpg Private Josefina Errázuriz Alvear
1892 Portrait of Madame Josefina Alvear de Errázuriz, oil on canvas view Private Subject: Josefina Alvear de Errázuriz
1892 Self-Portrait view Subject: Giuseppe Boldini
1894 Portrait of the Countess de Martel de Janville, known as Gypsy, oil on canvas Boldini, Countess de Janville..jpg Musée de la Ville de Paris, Musée Carnavalet, Paris Subject: Countess de Martel de Janville (1850-1932)
1895 Portrait of a Man Wearing a Top Hat: Poet Hanvin, from the Figaro, oil on panel Giovanni boldini - retrato de homem com cartola (o poeta hanvin, o homem do figaro) 01.jpg
1897 Portrait of Lady Colin Campbell, oil on canvas view National Portrait Gallery, London Subject: Gertrude Elizabeth Blood (1857–1911)
1897 Portrait of J. A. M. Whistler, oil on canvas view Brooklyn Museum, New York Subject: James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903)
1897 Portrait of Robert de Montesquiou Montesquiou, Robert de - Boldini.jpg Subject: Robert de Montesquiou (1855-1921; French poet, writer, and dandy)
1898 Portrait of Georges Madame Hugo, and her son Jean, oil on canvas view Private Subject: Madame Hugo and her son Jean
1900 Portrait of a Man in a Church, watercolor Boldini, Man in church.jpg Private
1901 Portrait of Mme. Lina Cavalieri, oil on canvas view Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois Subject: Lina Cavalieri (1874-1944); Italian operatic soprano and diseuse)
1901 Portrait of Lina Cavalieri, oil on canvas Boldini (Lina Cavalieri).jpg Subject: Lina Cavalieri (1874-1944); Italian operatic soprano and diseuse)
1903 Portrait of a Lady, Mrs. Lionel Phillips view Subject: Dorothea Sarah Florence Alexandra (1863–1940)
1904 Princess Radziwill with Red Ribbon Boldini. Princess Radziwill.jpg Subject: Polish princess Radziwill
1905 Portrait of Elizabeth Wharton Drexel, oil on canvas view Subject: Elizabeth Wharton Drexel (1868–1944; American author and Manhattan socialite)
1905 The Black Sash, oil on canvas view Private
1905 Portrait of Countess Zichy, oil on canvas view Subject: Countess Zichy
1906 Portrait of Ethel Mary Crocker view Subject: lived 1891–1964; daughter of Mrs. William H. Crocker; later Countess de Limur.
1906 Portrait of Mrs. Howard-Johnston, oil on canvas view Private Subject: Howard-Johnston
1906 Consuelo Vanderbilt, Duchess of Marlborough, and Her Son, Lord Ivor Spencer-Churchill, oil on canvas view Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City Subjects: Consuelo Vanderbilt (1876–1964). Lord Ivor Spencer-Churchill (1898–1956).
1908 Portrait of Marchesa Luisa Casati, with a Greyhound, oil Giovanni Boldini (1842-1931), La Marchesa Luisa Casati (1881-1957) con un levriero.jpg Subject: Luisa Casati (1881–1957; Italian heiress and patroness of arts)
1910 Portrait of Anita De La Feria, The Spanish Dancer, oil on canvas Boldini, Anita de la Ferie.jpg Private Subject: Anita de la Ferie
1911 Portrait of Princess Marthe Bibesco, oil on canvas Marthe Bibesco Boldini.jpg Subject: Marthe Bibesco (1886-1973)
1911 Portrait of Rita de Acosta Lydig, oil on canvas view Private Subject: Rita de Acosta Lydig (1875-1929)
1911 Self-Portrait view Subject: Giuseppe Boldini
1912 Portrait of Mlle. de Gillespie, La Dame de Biarritz, oil on canvas view Private
1913 Portrait of a Lady, Lina Bilitis, with two Pekineses, oil on canvas Boldini, Lina Bilitis with two pekineses.jpg Private Subject: Lina Bilitis
1914 Portrait of the Marchesa Luisa Casati Giovanni Boldini - La marchesa Luisa Casati con penne di pavone (Portrait of the Marquise).jpg Subject: Luisa Casati (1881–1957; Italian heiress and patroness of arts)
1924 Portrait of Donna Franca Florio, oil on canvas Boldini - Franca Florio.jpg
Des Parisiennes Vanderbilt collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
Interior of the artist's studio with the portrait of Giovinetta Errazuriz view Subject: Giovinetta Errazuriz
Kitchen Garden
La Passeggiata al Bois
Place Pigalle
Portrait of Edgar Degas Boldini, Edgar Degas.jpg Subject: Edgar Degas (1834–1917)
Portrait of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec by Giovanni Boldini.jpg Subject: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)
Portrait of Francesco Boldini view Subject: Little brother of Giovanni Boldini, Francesco
Portrait of the young Subercaseuse
Portrait of Willy, the Writer Henri Gauthier-Villars
Repose in the Atelier
Studies for the Portrait of Marchesa Luisa Casati Subject: Luisa Casati (1881–1957; Italian heiress and patroness of arts)
The Art Connoisseur, oil on panel view Private
The Misses Muriel and Consuelo Vanderbilt
Reclining Nude, oil on canvas view Private
Room of the Painter view
A Lady with a Cat, watercolor Boldini, Lady with a Cat.jpg Private
Lady in Rose, oil on canvas Boldini, Lady in Rose.jpg
Boy with a Circle, oil on canvas Boldini, Boy with a circle.jpg
Girl with Red Shawl Boldini, Girl with Red Shawl.jpg
Gentleman at the Piano Boldini, Gentleman at the Piano.jpg
Woman at the Piano, oil on canvas Boldini, Woman at Piano.jpg Private
Lady Pianist, oil on canvas Boldini, Lady Pianist.jpg Private
Theatre Boldini, Theatre.jpg
Woman in Red Boldini, Woman in Red.jpg
The Pianist A. Rey Colaco Boldini, Pianist Colaco.jpg Subject: Alexandre Rey Colaço (1854-1928; Portuguese painist)
The Rose in Vase of Sassonia Boldini, Rose in Vase.jpg
Still Life with Rose Boldini, Still Life with Rose.jpg
Sitting in the Garden Boldini, Sitting in the Garden.jpg
Statue in the Park of Versailles Boldini, Statue in the Park of Versaille.jpg
Angels Boldini, Angels.jpg

Prints and Drawings[edit]

Year Title Image Collection Comments
1883 Famous Connoisseur (Fameux Connaisseur), crayon and pencil on graph paper view Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
1884 Portrait of the Artist, pen and brown ink view Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
1885 Audience at a Parisian Theatre I (c. 1885), Graphite on cream wove paper Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
1885 Audience at a Parisian Theatre II (c. 1885), Graphite on cream wove paper Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
1897 Hansom Cabs, New York (c. 1897), black chalk on ruled paper view Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
1897 Whistler Dozing, drypoint on paper view Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
1904 Portrait of the Marquis de Biron (c. 1904), black chalk view Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
1905 Portrait of a Lady (c. 1905), crayon on paper view Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
Portrait of Edward G. Kennedy, black graphite view Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City Subject: lived 1849-1932.
Leda with Swan Boldini, Leda with Swan.jpg Subject: Leda
Sarah Bernhardt, sketch, pencil on paper Boldini, Sarah Bernhardt.jpg Private Subject: Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923; French actress)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Time. 3 April 1933 http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,753658,00.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ id=Zz0bAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false| Dizionario degli Artisti Italiani Viventi: pittori, scultori, e Architetti.], by Angelo de Gubernatis. Tipe dei Successori Le Monnier, 1889, page 63.
  3. ^ The Independent, 13 May 2013
  4. ^ Samuel, Henry (4 Oct 2010). "Parisian flat containing €2.1 million painting lay untouched for 70 years". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 6 Oct 2010. 

Sources[edit]

  • T. Panconi, Boldini, L'uomo e la pittura, Pisa (Italy) 1998
  • E. Savoia (a cura di), Giovanni Boldini. Il dinamismo straordinario delle linee, (catalogo della mostra), Bologna (Italy) 1999
  • E. Savoia (a cura di), Omaggio a Giovanni Boldini, (catalogo della mostra), Bologna (Italy) 2001
  • T. Panconi, Giovanni Boldini, L'opera completa (Catalogo generale ragionato legale), Firenze (Italy) 2002
  • P. Dini e F. Dini, Giovanni Boldini 1842-1931. Catalogo ragionato, Torino, 2002
  • E. Savoia (a cura di), G. Boldini. Dalla macchia alla sperimentazione dinamica, (catalogo della mostra), Bologna (Italy) 2003
  • T. Panconi, Boldini Mon Amour (catalogo della mostra, con presentazione del ministro per i beni culturali), Pisa (Italy) 2008
  • E. Savoia (a cura di), Giovanni Boldini. Capolavori e opere inedite dall'atelier dell'artista, (catalogo della mostra), Milano (Italy) 2011
  • S. Bosi, E. Savoia, Giovanni Boldini. Il Narratore della "dolce vita" parigina, Treviso, Antiga Edizioni, 2011
  • T. Panconi, S. Gaddi, Boldini e la Belle Epoque (catalogo della mostra), Milano (Italy) 2011
  • S. Bosi, E. Savoia, La mostra di Giovanni Boldini del 1963 al Musée Jacquemart-André di Parigi da un album fotografico inedito, Milano (Italy) 2011
  • Giovanni Boldini. Capolavori e opere inedite dall'atelier dell'artista (Masterpieces and unpublished works from the Atelier of the artist) , by Enzo Savoia, Milan (Italy), Bottegantica, 60 exhibits, from 25/02/2011 to 28/05/2011.

External links[edit]

There is a portrait of a family by this painter in the Gulbenkian Art Museum in Lisbon,Portugal.