TEFAF Maastricht 2019
Connoisseurs in an Artist's studio, circa 1884-85
with inscription 'No. 73B atelier Boldini/Emilia Boldini-Cardona/1931' (on the reverse)
oil on panel
34.9 x 26.7 cm / 13.7 x 10.5 in
ProvenanceThe Artist's studio sale; Galerie Charpentier, Paris, 30 June 1936;
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 25 June 1998, lot 193;
with Jean-Luc Baroni Ltd., London;
Christie's London, 1998
Atelier Jean Boldini, Galerie Jean Charpentier, Parigi 30 giugno, 1936
Atelier Boldini et dis amateurs, prefazione di Sacha Guitry, Galerie Charpentier, Parigi, 16 giugno 1955, n. 36
T. Panconi, Giovanni Boldini. L'uome e la pittura, Pacini, Pisa 1998. n. 59, p. 147
B. Doria, Giovanni Boldini. Catalogo generale dagli archivi Boldini, Rizzoli, Milano 2000, n. 442
ExhibitionsParis, Galerie Charpentier, Atelier Boldini et à divers amateurs, Paris, 16 June 1955, no. 36. New York, Jean-Luc Baroni Ltd., An Exhibition of Master Drawings and Paintings, 16 January-21 February 2003. Edinburgh, National Galleries of Scotland, Edgar Dégas and the Italians in Paris, 2004. Padova, Palazzo Zabarella, Boldini, 15 January-29 May 2005, no. 8. Castiglioncello, Boldini, Helleu, Sem: protagonisti e miti della Belle Époque, 7 July-12 November 2006, no. 15. Forli, Boldini, lo spettacolo della modernità, 1 February-14 June 2015, no. 14.
Born in Ferrara in 1842, Giovanni Boldini moved to Paris in 1871. There he became a friend of the most prominent artists of the period, such as Edgar Degas and John Singer Sargent. The present work is thought to represent Paul-César Helleu in his studio (identified with the man at the centre of the composition holding a picture, cfr. P. Dini and F. Dini, 2002, Vol. I, p. 189.). The elderly man on the left, appearing also in other works by the artist in the late 1880's, instead remains unidentified. The work seems to reflect upon other artist studios’ depictions, such as Corot’s or Fantin-Latour’s. However, here no symbolic allusions are intended. Furthermore, being a quick sketch, the painting offers an insight into the artist’s process. The figures are delineated with quick brushstrokes full of energy that transform an ordinary scene into an exciting picture. The artwork described above is subject to changes in availability and price without prior notice. Where applicable ARR will be added.