Boldini, the portraitist of the Belle Époque

Boldini, the portraitist of the Belle Époque

Giovanni Boldini — Miss Bell — 1903Giovanni Boldini — Moulin Rouge — 1889

From 29 March to 24 July 2022, the Petit Palais in Paris presents “Boldini: Pleasures and Days”, an exhibition dedicated to Giovanni Boldini, the Italian painter who became the great portraitist of the Parisian aristocracy of his time.

Images: Giovanni Boldini, “Portrait of Miss Bell”, 1903, Villa Grimaldi Fassio, Civica Raccolta Luigi Frugone (Musei di Nervi), © Musei di Nervi, Raccolte Frugone ·· Giovanni Boldini, “Party scene at the Moulin rouge”, about 1889, oil on canvas, Musée d’Orsay ©Musée d’Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt

Born in the same decade as Monet, Renoir and Morisot, and active in Paris during the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist heyday, and even during the development of the first avant-garde movements of the 20th century, it is relatively common for contemporary critics to consider the work of Giovanni Boldini (1842–1931) as “superficial” and not at all revolutionary in a period of enormous artistic revolutions. And while it is true that Boldini was by no means an “avant-gardist”, his painting deserves a more in-depth analysis than simply considering him a painter “of beautiful ladies”. For Tiziano Panconi, Boldini was “an artist capable of capturing the discomfort of his aristocratic models and of exploring the spirit of women who were beginning to emancipate themselves in the society of his time”.

The exhibition, which includes some 150 works including paintings, drawings, engravings and fashion accessories, contextualises Boldini within the atmosphere of the Parisian Belle Époque. As the Museum points out in a press release, Boldini’s portraits, “modern but going against the grain of the avant-guard”, “immortalised Paris high society of the Belle Époque and are the pictorial equivalents of characters of ‘In Search of Lost Time’ by Proust, one of Boldini’s greatest admirers. These works also bear witness to the painter’s taste for fashion. He painted the most elegant get-ups by the couturiers Worth, Paul Poiret, Jacques Doucet and many others in broad strokes, and developed, over the course of his commissions, a unique style that became his signature: a rapid brush stroke, attention to the sitter’s pose, and the serpentine line of his sitters’ bodies.” #2022 #theartwolf

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ART & the Art World (theartwolf)

ART & the Art World (theartwolf)

ART magazine aimed to offer an original & independent point of view about the Art World ▷ Its news, events, protagonists, glories and miseries.

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