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

Alaide Banti in White Dress

1866
Oil on wood, 43 x 23 cm
Galleria dell'Arte Moderna, Palazzo Pitti, Florence

Boldini brought a revolutionary approach to portrait painting, applying broad areas of tone and colour and of light and dark patterns along with a low vantage point. He also introduced a novel treatment of the background as an ambience displaying the sitter's milieu and interests. The sitter of the present painting was the twelve-year-old daughter of fellow painter Cristiano Banti. During a prolonged stay as a guest in the Banti home, Boldini became romantically involved with her. For unknown reasons their marriage plans were later abruptly cancelled.