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Forum on Giovanni Boldini  

Subject: Books on Boldini? 
From: Nicki Richesin
<nicki_  rich> 
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002  

Hi Natasha- 

I love your site. It's so elegantly designed and you have accumulated quite a vast array of fascinating art subjects. I'd like to find books and /or monographs on Giovanni Boldini. In your research, did you come across any such books? I have had difficulty finding anything about him. 

Thanks for your help. 


From: Natasha 
Date: 12 Mar 2002 

You are not the only one having problems finding books on Boldini. There is nothing in print that's in english anyway, maybe someone can help us on this.

Subject: the Spanish princess H.R.H. the Infanta Doña Eulalia of Spain 
From: chema perez juri"  
<CH EMA>  
Date: Sat, 11 Jan 2003  

Dear Miss Wallace, 
I am a Spanish historian and author and being in the process of writing the biography of the Spanish princess H.R.H. the Infanta Doña Eulalia of Spain, I'd like to kindly ask you whether you could give me information about a magnificent portrait that Giovanni Boldini painted in 1898 of the said lady. It seems that Doña Eulalia was very fond of it but no one among her descendants can give me information as to where this portrait could be nowadays. Would you also know if it could be possible to find a photograph of the said portrait? 
Thanks so very much for whatever help you can give me on the subject. 

Looking very much forward to hearing from you I send you my kind regards remaining, 
Yours very sincerely, 
Ricardo Mateos Sáinz de Medrano 
Calle Cartagena, 269  Atico 1 
08025 Barcelona (Spain) 

Subject: Princess Cecil Murat 
From: Dr. Efim Rezvan 
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2003  

Dear colleague, 

Could you, please, help me to obtain any info about the work of G. Boldini  presenting Princess Cecil Murat, Many thanks beforehand,  

Prof. Dr, E.Rezvan, 
Deputy director, Museum of anthropology and ethnography, Russian Academy of Sciences, 
\"Manuscripta Orientalia\",International Journal for Oriental MSS resera

Subject: Boldini's feelings about nudes
From: Brea Weil-Hearon
<br eez>
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2003 

 I am absolutely fascinated by [Boldini's work] -- especially by the contrast of his nudes and non-portraits to the portraits. A lot of the portraits have a crystal clear face, allowing one to easily identify the sitter, but a somewhat decadent or abstracted body -- whereas in the nudes and non-portraits (like his ballet dancers) the faces are completely abstracted, or are only shown in reflection (and are really just a few dots indicating mouth and eyes).  I wonder if Boldini was a bit of a prude and thought the nudes should be anonymous.  Does anyone have any thoughts on this? 

I am an art history major at Oberlin College and am currently exploring a bit of Giovanni Boldini\'s work.

From: Natasha

Hey Brea, good question but from what I've read about Boldini was that he was a bit of a womanizer and hardly a prude. What I think you're seeing in Boldini's nudes is Boldini painting for Boldini. In other words, if you think about it, the art of portraiture is limiting -- or it can be -- depending on limits set by the client who pays for the portrait. 

1) Most clients (not all -- but most) as well as most in the public have a more narrow definition and expectations of what is to be achieved in the art of portraiture. In the end they want a recognizable likeness in the face.
John Singer Sargent defined portraiture as being "a likeness in which there was something wrong about the mouth'." Most artists must have heard that time after time as clients would stand  in judgment of their work, scrutinizing it with hand-to-chin.

2) Boldini painted hundreds, if not thousands (if you include sketches etc) of faces -- all trying to capture the true likeness of an individual. He was also very much influenced by contemporary modern art and his art is more aligned with early impressionists as many of his colleagues were such as Whistler etc.


3) In the nudes, I think (and this is only an opinion) Boldini is working at his most free and unfettered by any constraints or expectations. It's a chance to NOT HAVE TO WORRY about capturing the exact likeness in the face -- it's an emotional and mental stretching of the creative mussels -- taking a break from a sometimes tedious and intense concentration. 

But I don't mean to imply that this was laziness either. Here Boldini has a chance to paint the face in the same manner as he has painted the bodies and clothes of his other work.

Mme Max sdbl Boldini
From: Gabriel (Chris)
(manx_   art
Sun, 22 Aug 2004

A footnote to the artistic career of Boldini. One of his paintings was hung in the Royal Academy's 1979-80 exhibition titled Post Impressionism Cross-Currents in European Painting. Catalogue number 364 a portrait of Mme Max sdbl Boldini 1896 200x100 cms lent by the Musee d'Orsay Paris

Kind regards
Gabriel (Chris)

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By:  Natasha Wallace
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