Giovanni Boldini (1842 - 1931): In the Garden, 1874, oil on

Giovanni Boldini (1842 - 1931): In the Garden, 1874, oil on

6/22/2021, 5:44:24 PM
Giovanni Boldini (1842 - 1931): In the Garden, 1874, oil on panel, 55, 9 x 45, 1 cm . . Through much of the 1870s, Boldini painted intricate interiors decorated in eighteenth century style and populated by elegant women in period costume. The artist painted 'In the Garden' in 1874, three years after he settled in Paris at the Place Pigalle, a decision that would propel him onto an international stage and prompt the export of many of his most important paintings to America. The distinctive, doll-like features of the model suggest she is Berthe (known only by her first name), Boldini’s companion and muse during his first six or seven years in Paris. The garden setting suggests a spontaneous outdoor scene—with its vines growing across a trellis, scattered leaves, and casually placed potted plants, together with the model’s bemused smile and outstretched hand dropping just-shelled peas to be stolen by a rooster. At the same time, the well-studied costume and props point to a composition realized in the studio. Boldini’s eye for light and colour enhances the materiality of the image: the jewel-like tones of the garden greenery, the gleam of the blue and white ceramic bowl, the subtle layers of tone and the texture of Berthe’s muslin dress. Simultaneously, the broad dabs of paint forming the sky and the loosely applied strokes of the treetops, seemingly left unfinished, together with Berthe’s casual pose, evoke the mood of a summer’s day in the French countryside (and points to Boldini’s recognition of the burgeoning Impressionist movement). (Sotheby's)

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