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80x60 cm
Oil on canvas


Portrait of Josefina Alvear de Errazuriz

The painting
This elegant portrait is very emblematic about the painting activity of Giovanni Boldini, an artist who reached his top during the first decades of 20th century, depicting noble women and celebrities (not only feminine) from his time, who managed to transform in style and fashion icons. Boldini was born in Ferrara where he had his first approach to art, but he showed immediately a traveler soul. In 1862, when he was 20, Boldini moved to Florence where he attended the Fine Arts Academy, getting in touch with the most important painters of the 19th century Italian School, as Giovanni Fattori and Telemaco Signorini. But the international vocation who he was carrying inside, emerged quickly and it brought him to London in 1870, where he had the first contact with the golden environment of international mundanity. The following year marked a turning point on his career, when Boldini established his studio in Paris, working for the major gallerist of his time: Adolphe Goupil. Thanks to him, Boldini had the chance to exhibit in the official Salon, where his portrait enhanced the Parisian audience, established himself into the high society. Soon his fame started to go beyond the French board, as he started to receive new important commissions from the rich bourgeois families. His feminine portraits become so fashionable that every important woman desired to have one made. The fascinating aspects, wrapped by precious evening dress, emerged at the center of the composition, surrounded by a smooth background. Lines and details are made with long and instinctive brush-strokes, like saber strikes, which raise his paintings to an oneiric and surreal dimension, increasing the “glamour” of the sitter. Like the portrait here presented, depicting Josefina Alvear de Errazuriz, wife of the diplomatic Matias Errazuriz Ortùzar, Argentinian Ambassador in Paris. In this painting the Argentinian noblewoman appears elegant and self-confident, wrapped with a precious dark dress of which tones gradually softens, blurring with the background.