Portrait of a lady

Giovanni Boldini
Ferrara 1842 - Parigi 1931
Portrait of a lady
Black chalk
310 x 443 mm

Signed lower right with the artist’s stamped signature Boldini. (Lugt 272b-c)
On the verso pen inscription by the artist’s wife n. 127 atelier Boldini / Emilia Boldini Cardona / 1931

Private collection, Milan

Disegni Italiani del Secondo Ottocento, exhibition catalogue, Pavia, 1977; cat. no. 22, illustrated.

The son of a modest painter, Giovanni Boldini enrolled in the Accademia in Florence in 1862. In Florence he came in contact with the Macchiaioli, principally with Signorini, Michele Gordigiani and Cristiano Banti. From the earliest years of his career, Boldini displayed a remarkable talent as a portrait painter, and during a trip to London in 1869 he was able to obtain numerous commissions. In 1872 he settled in Paris, taking a studio on the Place Pigalle. Beginning in 1874 Boldini exhibited frequently at the annual Salons and quickly rose to prominence in Parisian art circles. He began to paint society portraits and soon developed a reputation for his dazzling, elegant depictions of the fashionable society women, executed with bold, fluid brushstrokes. Boldini befriended other society portrait painters, such as Paul-César Helleu, John Singer Sargent and James A. McNeill Whistler, and was also friendly with two of the greatest draughtsmen of the day, Adolph von Menzel and Edgar Degas. By the turn of the century Boldini had become the most sought-after portrait painter in Belle Epoque Paris.

Other works of the master