Exhibition in Madrid. Fundación MAPFRE Recoletos Exhibition Hall
This exhibition, curated by Francesca Dini and Leyre Bozal Chamorro, was produced by Fundación MAPFRE. It was made possible thanks to the extraordinary generosity of numerous institutions and private collections who so kindly loaned their work to us.
The exhibition displays the work of the painter Giovanni Boldini (Ferrara, 1842 – Paris, 1931) for the first time in Spain. Boldini was one of the most important and prolific of the Italian artists living in Paris during the second half of the 19th century; alongside his body of work this exhibition brings together pieces from some of the Spanish painters also residing in the French capital during the same period. A dialog is established between their paintings and those of this native of Ferrara.
Born in Ferrara in 1842, the painter Giovanni Boldini became one of the most important Italian portrait painters at the turn of the century. Settled in Paris since 1871, he was considered one of the foremost painters of Montmartre, the neighborhood which would soon become a popular meeting point for the national and international bohemian lifestyle. Influenced on his arrival in the French capital by the work of Meissioner and Fortuny, whom he did not meet in person owing to the Spaniard’s premature death, Boldini maintained a unique style throughout his life, based on his intuition of a moment and of movement, reflected in his swift brushstrokes which never lost sight of the figure and expression of the person portrayed.
Alongside the work of this painter from Ferrara we have included pieces from some of the Spanish painters living in Paris at that time and whose works held a more or less express dialog with those of Boldini. The influence of Mariano Fortuny and his eighteenth century scenes on Boldini‘s paintings is but one of the many connections they shared, but certainly not the only one: A taste for genre painting featuring charming and anecdotal scenes, an interest in the comings and goings of the modern city, the enjoyment of landscapes and above all their shared ideas regarding the renewal of genre paintings are aspects which united the works of these artists at the turn of the century.
Halfway between tradition and innovation, the 124 works selected for the exhibition unerringly convey the spirit of an age.
Portrait: Giovanni Boldini Cléo de Mérode, 1901 Private collection
From: 19/09/2019 End date: : 12/01/2020 Location: : Paseo de Recoletos 23, 28004 Madrid
3 thoughts on “O.T.: Boldini and Late 19th Century Spanish Painting. The spirit of an Age”
Those are lovely. I wasn’t familiar with Boldini’s work — many thanks for the introduction!
My pleasure, John. There is a portrait by Boldini, I’m sure you have seen https://www.wikiart.org/en/giovanni-boldini/portrait-of-guiseppe-verdi-1813-1901
Thanks! I’ve seen the portrait around but had never really registered the painter.