Giovanni Boldini and his Belle Époque catwalk

Giovanni Boldini,

"Beatrice Susanne Henriette van Bylandt", 1901

Giovanni Boldini celebrated women, elegance, and the lightheartedness of Paris during the Belle Époque, in the years when he lived in the French capital and expressed his unique style on canvas, with refined sabers of color, willowy bodies, and enigmatic gazes – captured just an instant before time can seize them, inexorable, at the height of their ephemeral, irresistible, youthful grace.

Boldini (Ferrara, 1842-Paris, 1931) studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Florence and then moved to Paris in 1871; there, he mingled at the most fashionable salons, with ladies of high society and great masters of the time, such as Degas, Sisley, and Manet.

Here is a selection of his women’s portraits, composing a haute couture catwalk – with a glimpse into private, warm boudoirs.

October 14, 2014