Giovanni Boldini's Madame Georges Hugo (Jeanne Hugo) and Her Son, Charles Daudet (Frontpage) (more on Giovanni Boldini)  (What's New)

Madame Georges Hugo (Jeanne Hugo) and Her Son, Charles Daudet
Giovanni Boldini -- Italian-French portrait painter
Private collection
Oil on canvas
212 x 122 cm (83 1/4 x 47 1/4 in.)
signed Boldini and dated 1898 (lower right)
  jpg:  community webshots   Sothebys

From: Sothebys

<>Confusion over the identification of the sitters for this portrait was resolved in 1995, at the time of the picture's sale from the Rothschild collection. Not Mme. Jean Hugo and son, as previously published (real personages, although not of the appropriate age for this dated portrait), but actually Jeanne Hugo, grand-daughter of Victor Hugo, the revered French author, and her son, Charles Daudet. The title, Madame Hugo and her Son, is an invented appellation combining Jeanne Hugo's maiden name and the courtesy title of Madame, as she was thrice a widow, with a surname different from her son's, when the painting was first publicly exhibited in 1933.

The Catalogo generale completamente of the Museo Giovanni Boldini (Ferrara, 1997, p. 431) publishes a mis-identified drawing that must have been Boldini's primary compositional study for the charming pose of the sitters in Portrait of Madame Hugo and her Son. The rapid outline sketch is in itself a testament to how well Boldini understood the human figure and to his ability to quickly seize movement from live models.

This catalogue entry was written by Alexandra Murphy.

Please note that Bianca Doria has requested that we remove the reference to her book, published in 2000 from the literature we list in the catalogue. It is our opinion that the photograph illustrated in her book shows the painting in an earlier state.

Please note the additional literature reference: P.Dini, F.Dini, Boldini. Catalogo ragionato, U.Allemandi & C., Torino-London-Venice, 2002, vol.IV, n.730, ill.p.395.

Special thanks to Stephanie for sending me a link to this panting.


Baron Maurice de Rothschild (acquired directly from the artist)
Thence by descent
Sale, Christie's, New York, November 1, 1995, lot 14, illustrated (acquired by the present owner from the above sale)

Offered for sale Sothebys, 20 Apr 2005 ; London, Session 1, sale No. N0808510, lot  125 (of 267); estimated: 800,000—1,000,000 USD

New York, Wildenstein and Co., Loan Exhibition, Paintings by Boldini, 1845- 1931, 1920, no. 18


C. Ragghianti and E. Camesasca, L'Opera completa di Boldini, Milan, 1970, p. 113, no. 297 illustrated (as Signora con bambino vestito da marinaio)
P. Mauries, Boldini, Milan, 1987, p. 69, illustrated
B. Doria, Giovanni Boldini, Catalogo generale dagli archivi Boldini, Milan, 2000, no. 393 (as Signora con bambino vestito da marinaio)
T. Panconi, Giovanni Boldini, L'Opera Completa, Florence, 2002, p. 385 illustrated


By:  Natasha Wallace
Copyright 1998-2005 all rights reserved
Created 6/28/2002