BOLDINI, Giovanni
(b. 1842, Ferrara, d. 1931, Paris)


Italian portrait painter and printmaker. Having worked in Florence and London, he reached his peak of creativity and success in Paris.

He received his earliest training from his father, the painter Antonio Boldini (1799-1872). From 1858 he may have attended courses given by Girolamo Domenichini (1813-91) and Giovanni Pagliarini (1809-78) at the Civico Ateneo di Palazzo dei Diamanti, where he assiduously copied Old Masters. At 18 he was already known in Ferrara as an accomplished portrait painter. In 1862 he went to Florence, where he sporadically attended the Scuola del Nudo at the Accademia di Belle Arti. He frequented the Caffé Michelangiolo, a meeting-place of progressive artists, where he came into contact with the Macchiaioli group of artists.

He was in exile in London in 1871-72 where he specialized in portraits of the aristocracy. Back in Paris in 1872, he was in great demand as a portraitist for high society. His works were often of Parisian street scenes in pastel shades. He also produced pastels, drawings, and watercolours.

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