Anita Petrovski, in his article "The Lesson of Piano - Femininity According to Giovanni Boldini" writes about the photographic qualities of these two paintings. The older woman, I don't think is ever identified, but the woman on the right is of Alice Guerin playing a duet in a more conventional pose; but even here, Boldini paints this stunning beauty (and by all accounts she was incredibly beautiful) with a deep décolletage of her dress and the exposed skin of her delicate shoulders.
In the second painting (on the right)
Boldini has her stretching from the concentration of playing. Though the
stretch is a natural one, the pose is not. Instantly, the second painting
is charged with intimacy. The motion of her arms are abbreviated
in a Boldini signature fashion of elongated flowing strokes. The hands
of the older woman, however, are treated exactly the same as in the first.
The subject of these two paintings, together, is unquestionably the beautiful
Alice. This is quintessential
French La Belle Époque style of female sensuality.
It's a shame that these are the best
images available on the net of these two.
By: Natasha Wallace
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