Tuesday, May 3, 2011

MASTER OF SWISH





Giovanni Boldini
From marcelproust.it


Giovanni Boldini
From marcelproust.it


Giovanni Boldini was a prominent Italian portrait painter during the Edwardian era. He was born in Ferrara on December 31, 1842. His father was a painter of religious subjects. He studied painting in Florence and met the Macchiaioli, a group of realist painters who greatly influenced his style. In 1872 he moved to Paris where he lived until his death in 1931.
(erasofelegance.com)
Giovanni Boldini enjoyed a long and successful artistic career and trained on the Italian Renaissance masters from childhood with his religious artist-father, Antonio Boldini.
He also studied under other accomplished artists, gaining a reputation even at that young age as an accomplished portrait painter. He then studied in Florence at the age of 20, at the Scuola del nudo (the School of Nudes), a subject he would return to only in old age.
(From Italophile Site)


Giuseppi Verdi
Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Roma
From epdlp.com


Giovanni combined work and study for many years, training in Paris and London, and Holland and Germany. He moved to Paris but continued traveling for his work. He developed his own, distinct style, and his portraits grew in fame, helped greatly by a portrait commissioned by Giuseppe Verdi in 1886, the biggest celebrity of his day.


Portrait of Mme. Lina Cavalieri
Oil on canvas
Bequest of Brooks McCormick
From artic.edu


Verdi gave Boldini an introduction into the world of opera, which led to many commissions for portraits, and to many intimate paintings of opera fans in theatres and cafes around Europe
(From Italophile Site)


The Guitar Player
From thedailymuse.org


Woman at a Piano
Oil on panel
Public collection
From taller54.com


Spring
Private collection
Oil on canvas
From the-athenaeum.org


The Letter
From erasofelegance.com


The Laundry
Source allartpainting.com
From commons.wikimedia.org


The Hammock
From erasofelegance.com


Peaceful Days
Oil on canvas
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
Williamstown, Massachusetts
From img.artrenewal.org


The Summer Stroll
From umanakka.multiply.com


During his lifetime, Giovanni Boldini achieved tremendous popularity in Europe and the United States, where he was celebrated for his vibrant brushwork and striking portraits.
(Dave Read at berkshirelinks.com)


A Portrait of John Singer Sargent
Private collection
From artericerca.com


Like John Singer Sargent, he had an international career, working mainly in Paris, but also in England where he was well known in London. By the turn of the century Boldini had become the most sought after portrait painter in Paris, achieving such a success that his reputation equaled that of Sargent’s in London. He was renowned as a colorist and technician, and his works are considered very much Parisian.
(giovanniboldini.org)


Portrait of James McNeill Whistler
Oil on canvas
Brooklyn Museum, Gift of A. Augustus Healy
From brooklynmuseum.org


With this work, Boldini faced the challenge of painting one of his most esteemed peers and friends, the American artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834–1903). For this homage, Boldini combines the dark palette of Whistler’s own paintings from the early 1870s onward with an animated brushwork that conveys the sitter’s vibrant personality. Positioned slightly off-center leaning on the back of his chair, Whistler sits in evening clothes adorned with the red decoration of the Legion of Honor (established by Napoleon to recognize achievement in various fields), with his long legs and cane extending beyond the picture’s edge. While holding his top hat in a cursorily painted left hand, Whistler lifts his monocle to his right eye with a delicate flourish—a gesture that underscores the keen eye of an artist momentarily turned subject.
(brooklynmuseum.org)


Place Clichy
From dickbellbookmaven.com


Highway of Combes-la-Ville
Oil on canvas
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
By Alfred Chicken's photostream at flickr.com


Attraversando la strada
Private Collection
From artericerca.com


View of Venice
Oil on canvas
Public collection
From taller54.com


The exhibition Giovanni Boldini in Impressionist Paris illuminates Boldini’s early career when he lived in Paris and painted the city’s bustling streets, cafes, and concert halls, as well as charming scenes of its sunny suburban landscapes, while developing his unique style.
(Dave Read at berkshirelinks.com)
He also painted landscapes in the naturalistic style of his day, influenced by the Macchiaioli schooled artists he knew in Florence, and worked on engravings, with pastels, watercolors and etchings. Only toward the end of his long life, did his style change, becoming more impressionistic (possibly due to his failing eyesight), using mainly dark, rich colors.
His subjects changed as well. He no longer relied on portraits for a living, so he began painting subjects he wanted to paint, which seemed to be lots of nude women. Perhaps this was just his Italian nature exerting itself, and a return to his preferred youthful choice of subject.
Another change that came late in life was the bachelor Boldini finally married. To quote from a magazine article:
In 1929, aged 86, he suddenly married. At his wedding breakfast he made a little speech:
"It is not my fault if I am so old, it's something which has happened to me all at once."
He died of pneumonia while in Paris, and is buried in his hometown of Ferrara, Italy.
(From Italophile Site)


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