Lot Content

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
Giovanni Boldini (Italian, 1842-1931)
PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT ITALIAN COLLECTION
Giovanni Boldini (Italian, 1842-1931)

Portrait of Lady Nanne Schrader, née Wiborg

Details
Giovanni Boldini (Italian, 1842-1931)
Portrait of Lady Nanne Schrader, née Wiborg
signed and dated 'Boldini/1903' (lower right)
oil on canvas
47¼ x 37 1/8 in. (120 x 94.3 cm.)
Provenance
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, New York, 19 May 1983, lot 17.
Charles Pankow, California
His sale; Sotheby's, New York, 26 October 2004, lot 131.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Literature
E. Camesasca & C. Ragghianti, L'Opera completa di Boldini, Milan, 1970, no. 342, p. 116 (illustrated).
B. Doria, Giovanni Boldini, catalogo generale, Milan, 2000, no. 434 (illustrated).
T. Panconi, Giovanni Boldini, l'opera completa, Florence, 2002, p. 426 (illustrated).
P. Dini & F. Dini, Giovanni Boldini, catalogo ragionato, Turin, vol. 4, pp. 430-431, no. 805 (illustrated).
Exhibited
Padua, Palazzo Zabarella, Boldini, 19 January - 29 May 2005, no. 100.
Venice, Galleria Internazionale d'Arte Modenra Ca' Pesaro, 1 October 2011 - 12 February 2012 (on loan).

Brought to you by

Alexandra McMorrow
Alexandra McMorrow

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

Condition Report

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

Originally from Norway, Nanne Schrader married the German-born businessman Thaddeus Schrader, who settled with his wife in London and developed extensive business interests in South Africa. The couple were prominent members of London society, and Nanne was known in particular as an accomplished musician and patron of the arts, hosting and playing in concerts with her sisters, and sponsoring operatic events throughout Europe.

Boldini was at the height of his artistic powers and international fame in the first decade of 20th century; he vied with artists such as John Singer Sargent and Anders Zorn as the portrait painter of choice for both European and North American high society, developing an image of the modern cosmopolitan woman who was sensual, but independent and confident.

The art-critic Bernard Berenson famously described Boldini as the quintessential painter of the Belle-Epoque, an artist who painted “women of high society, who in his canvases, seem painted under a translucent glass.” This characteristic was achieved by certain trademark techniques, which are fully displayed in the present work; these centred on a bravura ability to modulate his colours, in particular deep blacks and pearlescent whites, in such a way as to given them an extraordinary sheen and vibrancy, which brought his sitters vividly to life.

The above qualities are all plainly evident in this portrait of Nanne Schrader, who looks smilingly at the viewer, resting nonchalantly against an ermine cape, and radiating the forthright expression of a woman who is approachable, successful and self-assured. The contrast between the bold, fluid brushwork of the lower half of the composition, and the plain background against which Boldini has set the sitter’s smiling, settled features, communicates both the vivaciousness and warmth of her character, while the subtle stress on certain motifs, such as the ring, brooch and necklace, which are described in a rich impasto, reinforces her social status. These elements combine to create a modern reinterpretation of Ingres’ famous masterpiece, Madame Moitessier, created 50 years earlier, communicating the same sense of sympathy and material ease, but one attuned to the dash and swagger of the Belle Epoque.
;

Related Articles

View all
Virtual tour: Classic Week hig auction at Christies
‘A radical response to what sc auction at Christies
Virtual tour: Collection Miche auction at Christies

More from 19th Century European & Orientalist Art

View All
View All