Portrait of a Lady (Primary Title)

Giovanni Boldini, Italian, 1842 - 1931 (Artist)

ca. 1885
Oil on panel
Framed: 27 3/4 × 21 1/4 in. (70.49 × 53.98 cm)
Born in Ferrara, Italy, Boldini moved to Paris in 1871 and spent most of his career as a painter in France. He was well received in the artistic circles of the French capital, befriending Degas and other notable artists. Boldini specialized in portraits of high-society women during the Third Republic. His work came to be characterized by a lively, cheerful style and spontaneous touch. His preference for languid poses as a means of interpreting his models' personalities is symptomatic of artistic traditions that idealized the female form as a symbol of virtue or eroticized women's bodies by depicting them according to socially determined conventions of beauty and passivity. In this composition, Boldini's emphasizes his sitter's listlessness by rendering her loosened hair with a suggestive buoyancy and furnishing her bodice with a dazzling bouquet of forget-me-nots. The painting is possibly a portrait of Gabrielle-Charlotte Réju, known as Gabrielle Réjane (1856-1920), a famous actress of the period.
Gift of Jane Joel Knox in memory of Irving Joel

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