“Boldini knew how to reproduce that dazzling feeling women wish to create when they are seen in their best moments.” With these words, Cecil Beaton, one of the most famous fashion photographers of the 20th century, acknowledged the talent of the Ferrarese painter in portraying the voluptuous elegance of the cosmopolitan elite of the Belle Époque, for knowing how to glorify their ambitions and their sophisticated narcissism.
The exhibition will investigate, for the first time, the long and fruitful relationship between Boldini and the world of Parisian haute couture and the influences that this had on his portraiture as well as the work of painters such as Degas, Sargent, Whistler and Paul Helleu. Organized thematically, each section represented by writers who have sung of the greatness of fashion as an art form, from Baudelaire to Wilde, from Proust to D’Annunzio, the exhibition offers a fascinating journey through paintings, marvellous vintage clothing and iconic accessories that will show the relationship between art, fashion, and literature in the Belle Époque and which plunges the visitor into the sophisticated and sparkling atmosphere of the French capital and all its elegant hedonism.
Curated by Barbara Guidi with the collaboration of Virginia Hill Organized by Fondazione Ferrara Arte and dalle Gallerie d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Ferrara
Image caption: Giovanni Boldini. Firework, c. 1890 Ferrara, Giovanni Boldini Museum