Giovanni BOLDINI (Ferrara 1842 - Paris 1931)

A Man Playing a Piano in the Artist’s Studio

Signed Boldini at the lower centre.
363 x 268 mm. (14 1/4 x 10 1/2 in.)


This fine drawing depicts a man playing a piano in Boldini’s studio. Although the identity of the sitter remains a mystery, the same man appears in a small oil painting by Boldini of The Pianist in the Studio, executed around 1910 and today in a private collection. The painting depicts a corner of Boldini’s Paris studio, with his full-length canvas portrait of Emiliana Concha de Ossa seen in the background, and shows the pianist seen from behind, playing the artist’s piano. What may be the same pianist also appears in a large pastel drawing in the collection of the Museo Boldini in Ferrara.
The present sheet once belonged to the French artist Jean-Gabriel Domergue (1889-1962), a friend of Boldini who seems to have owned several works by the elder artist. In 1955 Domergue was appointed a curator at the Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris, where he organized a series of important monographic exhibitions. He had planned one devoted to Boldini, but this project was still unrealized at the time of Domergue’s death in 1962. The following year, however, an important exhibition of Boldini’s work was held at the Musée Jacquemart-André, in honour of Domergue.

Jean-Gabriel Domergue, Paris
Thence by descent to a private collection
Jean-Luc Baroni Ltd., London, in 2008
Private collection, London.

Giovanni BOLDINI

A Man Playing a Piano in the Artist’s Studio


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