Giovanni Boldini.

Selfportrait_BoldiniArtists We Admire

Giovanni Boldini established a unique and glamorous position in the history of 19th Century portraiture. He experienced huge successful as a painter of European high society with his dazzling brio brushwork style, combined with exceptional precision made him one of the most admired and studied artists of modern times.

The facts are indisputable; as he occupies a position in that fabled “triumvirate of titans” at the very pinnacle of portrait painting in the golden era at the close of the nineteenth century.

The names of, Boldini ,John Singer Sargent and Sorolla  are eternally linked when artists discuss this period of portraiture. While these remarkable artists shared numerous common atributes, Boldini‘s work was distinguished by his slashing, dagger-like brushstrokes. Boldini was, like the other two, a superbe draftsman as well as a master painter of carefully observed tonal values. But these qualities were often overpowered by the explosive brio brush work. According to a 1933 article in Time magazine, he was known as the “Master of Swish” because of his flowing style of painting

boldini-Elizabeth Drexel

Boldini was born in Ferrara, Italy in 1842, Giovanni Boldini received his first training from his father, a painter and restorer. A precocious talent, Boldini attended the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence in 1862. There he met the circle of Tuscan realist painters known as the Macchiaioli. They were a substantial influence on Boldini and introduced him to painting from nature, contemporaneous with the Barbizon painters of Rural France.

boldini-Marchesa Luisa Casati

Boldini was accepted as one of the foremost portrait painters of the Belle Epoque in Paris during the 1890s. He was nominated commissioner of the Italian section of the Paris Exposition in 1889, and received the Légion d’honneur for this appointment His unique style set him apart from his contemporaries. Though he remained essentially Paris-based, Boldini occasionally made painting trips to London.  Boldini died in Paris on January 12, 1931.


You can see more Boldini paintings at the website of our UK based gallery Ruby Cavalier Fine Art.