foreword to the catalog “boldini mon amour”

Sen. Sandro Bondi

Minister for Arts and Culture

I collect with pleasure the invitation to write a brief introduction to the exhibition catalog "Boldini Mon Amour", organized by the city of Montecatini Terme villa at Schmitz. The exhibition pays tribute to an artist still in the collective for being one of the greatest interpreters of the Belle Epoque and its bright stars. Giovanni Boldini gave us the image of a time when the world of the nobles and the wealthy bourgeoisie lived the years of economic development and changes with great confidence and will to live: a world destined to disappear with the outbreak of war world, but to be remembered and mourned as his playful, intensely lived happily and aristocracy. A few Italian artists of that period have, and continue to enjoy the success he has achieved in Europe and America. A success tied to his portraits, especially female ones, but also to the interior scenes, the Boulevard, coffee, crowded streets and views of Paris. The portraits of women, which was very famous and sought after, are works of extraordinary elegance, where outer beauty is combined with a thorough investigation of the human soul. Boldini stops in his work the ideal woman, straddling two centuries, a woman's worldly, sophisticated, strong-willed yet extremely fragile. The opportunity to come in contact with the art of Boldini, through a wide selection of works from museums and major private collections of our country, is valuable both for the citizens of Montecatini Terme for all visitors: A special thanks to the municipal administration and the detailed scientific work of the editor that brings us closer to one of the most popular and beloved artists of the nineteenth century, witnessed the Italian genius in the European cultural scene.


introduzione al catalogo “boldini mon amour”

Tiziano Panconi

Curatore della mostra

The beauty, and especially women, was the actual ground on which Boldini accomplished the vast beauty and deep reconnaissance survey on the psychological foundations of which he coined an idealized model of grace, as we shall see, quite responsive to the aristocratic good looks and liberated the case of Bertha, his first French model and lover.

This retrospective exhibition, providing a complete picture as possible of Art Boldini, also lingers through the images and a detailed framework for critical, particularly on the artistic point of view and human relating some stories of love real or alleged, and many passions insatiable experienced amateur, often hastily consumed from time to time in the time required to carry a portrait.

Letters and photos are published and unpublished Alaide Banti and Emilia Cardona Boldini, wife of the famous painter, are collected here along with business cards left in life but equally likely to be Giovanni Boldini, both Emilia, then remarried to the sculptor Francesco La Monaca - at the time also permanently residing in Paris - and found the home of Pistoia, in 1977, after the death of the widow Boldini. In addition, the discovery of an important witness unpublished letters and photographs have allowed us to reconstruct some key steps of human affairs and emotional issue that marked the coexistence of the distinguished but elderly and the young master Ferrara literate Piedmont, as is now the first established, at the same time cultivating a relationship parallel. The numerous drawings in pencil by Boldini dedicated to Millie, as he called affectionately, as well as pictures of the furniture and furnishings found in the study of teacher's widow, and never released, completes the picture of a long life marked by convulsive attraction for women and by the continued refinement of an aesthetic than on which his original figure of expression. As usual for this writer, on this occasion that we could, so to speak, to define official - also responded to the initiative of a unique audience of institutional personality, most notably the Minister for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Senator . Sandro Bondi, to whom I express my gratitude for having wanted to bring his valuable contribution and enlightened, and the Hon. Verdini and on. Aracu and Claudio Martini, President of Tuscany - in addition to the cornerstones of the artistic production from the most famous Italian art galleries, and then normally accessible to the public, I thought it appropriate to present a selection of works by little known or ever seen, even fifteen unpublished, that in my opinion are, again, the added value of an exhibition. Biographical and critical updates and the new findings presented here are indeed proud of the result of years of research undertaken by the constant scrutiny of the works of Giovanni Boldini in an ongoing relationship with the museums, galleries, with the houses' auction with the inscrutable and fascinating world of collecting.


On December 30, 2008 has closed down the largest retrospective ever to be dedicated to Giovanni Boldini (300 between documents and unpublished photographs, 180 works). Extraordinary public success and critical acclaim, almost 50,000 visitors.

On December 30, 2008, in Montecatini Terme, the exhibition has closed its doors Boldini Mon Amour, an event which, with its nearly 200 works and 300 unpublished photographs and documents, has done a really epoch.

40,000 paying visitors, more than 8,000 guests and 2,000 catalogs sold the note to the ticket.

Among the lenders: Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence; GAM Milan G.A.M. Palermo G.A.M. Genoa, Museo Giovanni Boldini, Ferrara; G.A.M. Palazzo Pitti, Florence Museums of Pavia, Museo di Capodimonte, Naples Area Museum Ca 'The Hurdy-Gurdy, Bologna, Cassa di Risparmio di Pistoia and Pescia, Pistoia; CARIPIT Genova, Fondazione Cassa Lombarda, Milan.

The 2008 event, so I called the newspaper La Nation, began with a gremitissimo vernissage, a real gala dinner in evening dress and a sophisticated menu of dishes created ad hoc (there was also a plate "Boldini" : cod with layers of chocolate) by the restaurant aorist. Hosts were the acclaimed curator Tiziano Panconi, the highest authority in matters of Boldini and Macchiaioli, the Hon. Luca Barbareschi, the Hon. Massimo Parisi and Regional Councillor of Tuscany, Caterina Bini. During the four months of opening, there have been many visits by celebrities from the worlds of politics, culture and entertainment event sponsored by the city of Montecatini Terme, the Chamber of Commerce of Pistoia, the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Pistoia Pescia, the Ministry for Arts and Cultural Affairs and hosted by the Society of Montecatini Terme.

The presentations, authoritative, organized by the monumental catalog Panconi were, among others, the Minister for Arts and Culture, one of the culture and that of President of the Tuscany region.

The culture of Montecatini Gian Luca Calzolari and Deputy Mayor Alberto Lapenna, first to believe in the possibility of bringing an exhibition of international level in Montecatini, ripping this project in Paris, expressed their satisfaction at a unique event that made headlines the whole of Italy, not only of the city, with a record number of unseasonal never registered before.

Art Newspaper on the month of December, the Superintendent of Rome Claudio Strinati indicates the monumental catalog (488 pages) which edition of the year. This exhibition and this volume, written in pen tip from the always amazing Panconi, have brought a new and important scientific contribution to the knowledge of the author and his bibliography, now updated in the light of the exceptional discovery, by Panconi, the fund Emilia Cardona Boldini, an archive of which, between myth and legend, was supposed to, without having proof of the existence. For the occasion, many videos and documentaries filmed including the Journal of Marco Iacomelli, to Art News RAI 3 television and Tuscany.

BOLDINI, the painter who loved women

Tiziano Panconi

(from: Il Tremisse, Pistoia, December 2008)

“The portraits are so far made only a maximum, that were to have joined the fund as possible, and do not bother to remove the head of the portrait. Precept ridiculous and says Mr. Boldini with his portraits that have to fund what has the study of paintings, prints and other items attached to the wall, without the head of the reprocessed suffer some harm at all. If a head was significant in nature with items put to him back, why should not it have more in art if art is an imitation of nature? ". So Telemachus Signorini in his review to the "Promoter Florentine Gazzettino of 1866 for the design of the Arts. A world of images, at once so original, that of Boldini, he begins to build in the early years of Florence, where they move like real actors, first friends, as Cabianca and Andreotti, and then factors and Martelli, Finally, after his arrival in Paris on the model and lover, Bertha, Countess de Rasty and notables and the "notables" of a lively and cosmopolitan environment, ready to accept without surprise, and the poetic license of the most libertine of his human children. Boldini's women, to which this anthology pays homage, are still supple and uninhibited without showing a pattern of reluctance and erudite beauty, stripping, affirm their self-determination of emancipated and mature individuals, fully aware of their femininity. Nature fantastic and disturbing, the study of Boldini reach excited, eager to escape the protocol of their palaces, to undo the tight bodices of whalebone, to surrender, free at last, in the warmth of Bodu, to feel their own protagonists, admired and including above all, in front of "faun", that little man who does not know how to silence their innermost desires. Boldini not judge them, judge them because they would deny his dissolute nature, but rather encourages them to express themselves, collect their confessions, their anxieties and reflects on the fatuity of the time and love that lives in a single moment. The artist can take a flight that moment, that unique, where beauty is more radiant and where his muses were more casual and natural. Yet these portraits are filled with such beauty often disturbed by a sense of impermanence, which hovers veiled, that flutters in the air and looks poignant hour, now proud or sad, restless and dissatisfied females, guilty of vanity and complacent accomplices overpowered from that image certainly unbecoming of the Italian genius will give them. The artist brings their egos often portraying only a moment before, the oncoming autumn of life, their beauty wither forever, that their leaves begin to fall fragrant roses. Sometimes, as a sorcerer, collects the fragile petals and with a gesture of love reassembles those faded flowers restoring a moment of eternal spring. Portraying its women, Boldini is an era, the good times, the first of his youth, when Paris happy and wealthy lives the thrill of economic prosperity and social progress and, then, that of senility and decay, when the World War inhibits the release of the fashion magazines and the teacher discovers inexorably old. Time, which as he claims, it passes in a moment, it's really past, Bolduc has become an old man, with lots of memories and old friends, once the "divine", which take heart, no longer in the warmth of the studio but in the salt of coffee, in the mild climate of Etretat. This exhibition and its catalog, funded by Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Pistoia and Pescia who carries on his philanthropic work always paying special attention to support local cultural initiatives, relate, through a detailed critical framework, particularly the artistic point of view and inherent in human love stories real or presumed experienced amateurs and insatiable passions of the many, often hastily consumed from time to time in the time required to carry a portrait. Published and unpublished photos, many of Emilia Cardona Boldini, wife of the famous painter, are collected here along with business cards left in life to Boldini. In addition, the discovery of some important examples of letters and unpublished photographs have allowed us to reconstruct some key steps of human affairs and emotional issue that marked the coexistence of the eminent French and Italian old master, but the young literate Piedmont, as we now first established, at the same time cultivating a relationship parallel with the contemporary sculptor Francesco La Monaca, later became her third husband.

The numerous drawings in pencil by Boldini dedicated to Millie, as he affectionately called his latest muse, as well as images of furniture and originals - sculpture, furniture, carriages, all in miniature - used as models for paintings, found at the study of the master's widow and never released, completes the picture of a long life marked by convulsive attraction for women and by the continued refinement of an aesthetic than on which his original figure of expression. Six years after the edition of the catalog raisonné (T. Panconi, Giovanni Boldini, The complete works, Buildings, Florence, 2002) in which they were played between 1250 and pastel paintings of the famous Italian composer of the nineteenth century, being continuously since then further research on his artistic activity, there are many new documents today painting, photography and found letters, never before disclosed, published on this occasion.

The extensive and important unpublished correspondence found some basic steps to update the biography of the artist and the complicated love affair with the young entertained by these Emilia Cardona, tie the knot just two years before the death of the old and rich and become its master sole heir. The exhibition includes three unknown letters, 70 original photographs of unpublished Bolduc and his wife, a large group of drawings in pencil and, of course, the main body of the exhibition consists of 19 works by artists from the circle of Boldini (De Nittis Zandomeneghi , Corcos, Banti, Helleu, Mancini, Picabia) and about 110 paintings of the most representative of the artist, from public collections and the most important Italian private collections (Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence GAM, Museo di Capodimonte, GAM Milan GAM Palermo, Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Palazzo Pitti in Florence, Museo Boldini of Ferrara, etc.). exhibited in chronological order within the town of Montecatini Terme Tamerici of salt.

VIDEO Boldini Mon Amour (click here)

Tiziano Panconi explains Giovanni Boldini