Web preview of the exhibition dedicated to Boldini at the Mart

From November 24, the digital channels of the Mart in Rovereto will tell the story of the new exhibition dedicated to Giovanni Boldini with images, stories and videopills.

The Mart in Rovereto is ready to virtually welcome its visitors for the exhibition Giovanni Boldini. Il Piacere, from an idea by Vittorio Sgarbi, curated by Beatrice Avanzi and Tiziano Panconi, in collaboration with the Municipality of Ferrara and Fondazione Ferrara Arte. The exhibition was supposed to open to the public on Nov. 14, but is closed due to a health emergency. Starting Nov. 29, through the web it will then be narrated with images, video interviews, stories, curiosities, and videopills.

On display are 170 works from public and private collections, many from the Boldini Museum in Ferrara, which was closed to the public after the 2012 earthquake. In fact, Giovanni Boldini, the greatest portrait painter of the Belle Époque, is the subject of the Mart’s new exhibition, catapulting visitors into social salons, cafes, and the elegance of the bourgeoisie underscored by luxurious gowns.

From Ferrara to Paris, via Florence and London, the Italian master studied Raphael, frequented the Macchiaioli and Caffè Michelangelo in Florence, met Courbet, Manet, and Degas, and, having settled permanently in Paris, established himself as one of the most sought-after artists. Thanks in part to a marked resourcefulness and remarkable interpersonal skills, Boldini became the painter of society portraits. His paintings described and at the same time defined the style, trends and aesthetics of the Ville Lumière.

In the portraits of noblewomen, actresses and intellectuals he met in the salons of fin de siècle Paris, he relives the charm of a refined and elegant society. His long, vibrant brushstrokes, referred to as “saber strokes,” immortalize images on canvas that look like photograms.

The exhibition unfolds chronologically, while also leaving room for the exploration of certain themes, such as his relations with the poet Gabriele d’Annunzio and the Divina Marchesa Luisa Casati. The exhibition itinerary begins with early works made in Ferrara, under the influence of his father Antonio, and influenced by the manners of Gaetano and Girolamo Domenichini and examples from the antique at Palazzo Schifanoia. Settling in Florence, Boldini joined the Macchiaioli movements, establishing exchanges with Telemaco Signorini, Vito D’Ancona, Cristiano Banti and Giovanni Fattori. In Paris, where he moved in 1871, he linked up with the merchant Adolphe Goupil, which enabled him to measure himself against a genre of great fortune in late 19th-century France, interior painting. He then intensified relationships with the Parisian upper middle class and nobility, frequenting the most exclusive circles and prominent figures such as Edgar Degas. From the 1980s a growing interest in portraiture emerged, starring beautiful and sensual women. Also life-size. Famous portraits include Countess Gabrielle de Rasty, actress Alice Regnault, Emiliana Concha de Ossa, Madame Veil-Picard, Countess de Leusse, and Princess Eulalia of Spain.

The visit is accompanied by a site-specific soundtrack specially created by Cesare Picco and Luca Giardini to encourage immersion in the Boldinian atmosphere.

For more info: www.mart.trento.it

Image: Giovanni Boldini, Young woman in déshabillé (La toilette), detail (circa 1880; private collection)

Web preview of the exhibition dedicated to Boldini at the Mart
Web preview of the exhibition dedicated to Boldini at the Mart

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