Giovanni Boldini

Giovanni Boldini

Genre and portrait painter

After he began studying art in Ferrara, he left the city in 1862 and continued his studies in Florence. In 1867 he moved to Paris, where he became one of the most representative portrait painters of that time and began visiting the famous literary salons that were also attended by Proust (who was a great admirer of the artist, as he personally stated in the preface of his artwork dedicated to Boldini). His paintings represented the fashionable life of that time: The theatre and the horses, crowds of people as they moved through the city, portraits of bourgeois men and women. He was the creator of a new female ideal revolving around sophisticated beauty, and soon became the most acclaimed portrait painter of the Belle Époque.

The original tomb of the artist, that was realized according to the parameters of the Modernist movement, is still cherished by the large Monumental Cemetery of Ferarra’s Certosa, while his mortal remains are cherished by the modern sarcophagus of the new cloisters. Palazzo Massari in corso Porta Mare is home to the interesting Museum dedicated to Giovanni Boldini and the Nineteenth Century, that contains a rich collection of his most famous paintings, sketches and artworks, such as the famous Signora in rosa (Woman in pink).



  • Ferrara, December 31, 1842 - Paris, January 11, 1931
  • 8th of 13 children
  • 16 years when in Ferrara attends courses of painting by Girolamo Domenichini
  • 14 years when made his famous self-portrait
  • 1895 when Boldini took part in the first Venice Biennale
  • 30000-50000 francs were the price of a portrait commission
  • 90 major works
  • 57 years of difference with his wife Emilia Cardona

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