East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Dark-haired beauties in red

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Giovanni Boldini http://www.tuttartpitturasculturapoesiamusica.comI will not make it to the art exhibit in the Royal Palace of Venaria, dedicated to the work of Giovanni Boldini.
Time is short, money is tight, and one needs to make choices.
The up side is, thanks to the web, it is easy to create our own art exhibit – granted, it’s not the same as the real thing, but it’s still better than sitting in front of the local bar, waiting for death (which seems to be the usual pastime hereabouts).

Giovanni Boldini (1842-1931) was a weird chap – and is portrayed here by the side with Marquess Casati and another guy during a masked ball. Boldini is the one that does not fit in.

Giuseppe_Verdi_by_Giovanni_BoldiniBoldini was born in Italy, in Ferrara, but traveled to London first and then to Paris, where he became the go-to portrait painter for the upper class.
He is the painter of the famous top-hat-and-scarf portrait of Giuseppe Verdi, that graced dozens of LPs and CD covers through the years, but he was a specialist in female characters.

And as I was browsing, last night, the virtual galleries of the web, I noticed something funny – apparentl there were no blond women in the upper class in the Belle Epoque.
Or, who knows, maybe Boldini had a thing for dark-haired women.
For certain, looking at his paintings, I suddenly feel like learning more about those years, between the death of Victoria and the start of the Great War.
A time that is usually presented very drily in our school programmes.

But anyway, here’s a small gallery of women by Boldini.
Let’s celebrate beauty on this Sunday.
Click on the image to zoom in.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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