An exhibition in Ferrara on Boldini and the birth of the female portrait


The Castello Estense in Ferrara presents a small exhibition dedicated to the theme of the genesis of the female portrait, from drawing to painting, in Boldini.

At the Castello Estense in Ferrara, in the Sala dei Comuni, the exhibition Boldini is on display until June 6, 2021. From Drawing to Painting. Around the Contessa de Leusse, on the occasion of the 90th year since the death of Giovanni Boldini (Ferrara, 1842 - Paris, 1931).

A small exhibition dedicated to the theme of the genesis of the female portrait, from drawing to painting. The exhibition revolves around the portrait of the Countess de Leusse (circa 1889), made by Boldini when he was permanently residing in Paris, where he had established himself as a society portraitist for some years; the painting is deposited by a collector at the Ferrara Galleries of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Among the noblewomen he portrayed, one encounters more than once the Parisian aristocrat Suzanne Berthier, wife of Viscount Georges de Leusse, who in the painting on display is depicted in profile, seated sideways on a chair and with a fan clasped in her hands, observing something or someone outside the pictorial field: a layout that not only highlights the young woman’s graceful features but also gives the image a distinct naturalness.

Along with this portrait, sixteen drawings from the Ferrara museum’s collection are on display, some of them never before exhibited: studies of full-length women and single female faces that document the artist’s hyperactive relationship with the surrounding reality, as well as his readiness to depict poses and attitudes that would serve him to give vitality and dynamism to the protagonists of his paintings, marked by that peculiar rapid yet controlled writing that makes Boldini’s style unmistakable. Also on display are two oil paintings from the artist’s mature years(Nudino scattante, 1910; La contessa Saffo Zuccoli, 1927-28), a watercolor self-portrait, two etchings and a bronze portrait of the artist by Vincenzo Gemito.

The exhibition is organized by Fondazione Ferrara Arte and Gallerie d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea del Comune di Ferrara.

For info: www.castelloestense.it

Hours: Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Image: Giovanni Boldini, The Countess Berthier de Leusse seated, detail (c. 1889; oil on canvas, 182 x 59 cm; private collection, on temporary deposit at the Giovanni Boldini Museum).

An exhibition in Ferrara on Boldini and the birth of the female portrait
An exhibition in Ferrara on Boldini and the birth of the female portrait


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