Boldini was something of an ugly duckling: his legs were short, his trunk bulky and his head large. No one could have imagined that the young Boldini would become one of the idols of fin-de-siècle Paris; or that his ample Empire-style bed would accommodate the most ravishing women of the Belle Époque.
Born in Ferrara in 1842, the eighth son of Antonio Boldini, a competent restorer who was to father five more sons, Giovanni Giusto Filippo Maria Boldini was not received with any particular concern. He was just one more son, no more no less, but endowed with a substantial difference in character, as soon became evident. At the age of five, he created a small but secret refuge where he accumulated pencils, colours and one or two small brushes which he had patiently removed from his father’s studio. Here, he would draw and «fresco» every space available, with hands whose inelegant aspect seemed the very negation of the effervescent and malicious drawings he produced.
However, the wings of genius are not easily clipped and, true to Andersen’s fable, the ugly duckling soon grew into a swan. At ten Boldini was still small for his age but his bearing had acquired an imposing authority which betrayed the precocious artist in him, confirmed by a relentless inclination to observe and draw with whatever means carne readily to hand.
His father’s workshop offered every opportunity for studying technique and experiencing the fascination of works of art at first hand. He was now able to work openly and with all his characteristic energy. He dedicated his moments of relaxation to music and became enamored of the young girls who were attracted by his audacity. From that moment, he found himself besieged by remunerative commissions to paint portraits whose lifelike precision reflected his remarkable gifts.
Boldini gradually grew dissatisfied with the enchanted tranquility of his native city and turned his attention to Florence. This new city was alive with activity: the obstreperous Macchiaioli were waging war against the phantomatic Academy and were in turn reviled and respected, just as the Impressionists in Paris were ten years later. Portraits and other commissions had enabled him to save a little money. However a stroke of good fortune, one of many, hastened events: a clerical uncle left him two thousand lire, and the twenty year old Boldini, now an accomplished artist, took the train to Florence. What had originally been intended as a journey to enable him to perfect his talents and shape his ideas proved an important turning point in his career. Boldini busied himself in study but he found the Academy’s training a tedious repetition of what he had already assimilated.
The boisterous Macchiaioli of the Caffè Michelangiolo offered instead a far more stimulating experience, and his attendance at these merry gatherings procured him the friendship of Signorini, Fattori, Borrani, Cabianca and Abbati, who were quick to recognize a talented ally in the bizarre newcomer. The painter from Ferrara welcomed their company: but while they shouted and disputed, Boldini continued to draw and lampoon them, pausing only to make a witty retort to some malicious provocation.
It is difficult to assess the impact of Boldini’s stay in Florence, interrupted as it was by regular visits to Ferrara, Naples, Palermo, Paris and Montecarlo. Above all, the Florentine experience helped Boldini to become less «provincial». Florence was considered provincial – but by no means second-rate; furthermore, the city was animated by many artists of talent. It gave him the chance to acquire self-confidence and to confirm his taste for refinement. Here Boldini became convinced of the ethereal possibilities to which he could aspire with the aid of pen or brush. Daily conversation with painters like Fattori and Lega, or men whose culture bridged the arts, like Banti, Signorini, the critic Diego Martelli or the sculptor Cecioni, opened his eyes to the problematic renovation of the arts then in progress.
Boldini, as we have seen, was dedicated to his work and was a man of few words. In Florence he stored up many an experience for future reference. Nevertheless, it was here that his early style as a Macchiaiolo matured.
For practical reasons he accepted there a number of routine commissions, executed in the company of his friend Michele Gordigiani; contemporaneously, however, he completed a group of small paintings, typical of his early manner, but displaying a new intensity. Boldini’s strong and forceful personality appropriated everything congenial; although an avowed enemy of theory as such, he was not insensitive to the possibilities of the pure colours and compositional immediacy of the macchia.
In this context he produced that small series of masterpieces comprising the portraits of his artist colleagues: Cabianca, Fattori, Bechi, Abbati, Andreotti and Banti. These portraits are no less significant than the virtuoso demonstrations of his Paris period.
Their profound understanding of character, translated with an unbounded facility of technique, represents the quintessence of Boldini’s Tuscan experience.
Of no lesser merit are his many small and elegant impressions of the Tuscan countryside, where strict adherence to macchiaiolo realism constitutes the hallmark of the artist. We should not conclude however, that Boldini was as yet unable to master the challenge of working on a larger scale; while guest at the villa of the Falconer family in Pistoia, Boldini commemorated his stay with a series of frescoes on the walls of the dining-room, representing views of the surrounding countryside.
During the time spent working in contact with friends and enjoying the rewards of success, Boldini was not oblivious to the call of Paris.
Many Italian painters found fortune there – both before and after Boldini: De Nittis, Giuseppe Palizzi, Zandomeneghi, Cappiello, Modigliani, De Chirico, De Pisis and Campigli, to name but a few. Boldini was no exception and so, abandoning all sentimental ties and an assured fortune, he left for France.
When he arrived in Paris, Napoleon III reigned unperturbed and the prosperity of France and her colonies bad been confirmed by the grand Exposition of 1867.
Boldini must have felt dwarfed by the immensity of the unknown French metropolis. But the artist measured himself against the figure of Napoleon – to all appearances his double – whom be would frequently imitate. Like Balzac’s Rastignac, he must have felt, as he gazed down on the prospect of the city: «Paris, à nous deux».
During his brief stay in that city, Boldini managed to visit all the museums and absorb many new stimuli. He also made the acquaintance of Degas, Manet and Sisley. But above all it was the whole atmosphere of Paris that impressed him. On returning to Florence, Boldini’s mind was irrevocably determined to embark upon a new artistic direction.
Paris remained a fixation, but Boldini lacked the means to be able to return. Luckily, a friend of Gordigiani, Sir William Cornwallis-West, a rich patron and a painter himself, took a liking to the morose little Italian and offered him the facilities of his own studio, overlooking Hyde Park in the center of high society London. This advantageous introduction procured immediate commissions, and Boldini satisfied these with his customary elegance, on small panels which succeeded in combining his personal style with a respect for the celebrated English portraitists of the eighteenth century. Boldini’s fee of forty pounds per commission was an enormous sum for a young painter, but the success of his portrait of Lady Beckis won over admirers in the West End. The artist was at last able to permit himself a Saville Row wardrobe and shoes worthy of the Prince of Wales.
Despite his English successes, a nostalgia for the elegant vitality of Paris and the allure of French femininity surpassed the admittedly assuring flattery of London society. Paris was then recovering from the Franco-Prussian war but, nothing daunted, Boldini took the Napoleonic decision to return.
The artist re-established himself in Avenue Frochot, Montmartre, and soon found himself welcomed by the celebrated dealer Goupil who, in the hope of enticing the artist to accept a contract with him, immediately purchased a small but delicate portrait on panel of a young English lady.
Another significant circumstance, his amorous relationship with a typically coquettish model named Berthe, caused Boldini to take a studio in Place Pigalle. His attachment to her was such that he raised his prices at her instigation. The development of his work now followed two directions: on the one hand, scenes from daily life, picnics on the lawn, amorous encounters and instantaneous glimpses of the kaleidoscopic world observed from the windows of his atelier; on the other, genre subjects, conversation pieces, figure compositions set in the Versailles gardens – all in the manner of Meissonier, who at that time indisputably dominated the salerooms.
Boldini’s paintings of this period have been criticized for their compromise with commercial appeal.
The exaggerated prettiness so characteristic of Meissonier, Fortuny and their Italian imitators, is indeed clearly evident, but Boldini avoided mere imitation by directing his attention towards Fragonard, Watteau and the grace and colour of the Venetian tradition.
In my opinion, Boldini remained indifferent to this criticism, convinced that his work was destined to merit a nobler and more qualified appreciation. He would often mingle in the cafés with his distinguished colleagues: Degas, Lautrec, Manet, Gervais, Gerôme; but he preferred to pass his evenings making notes and observations at the theatre, following the example of Degas and others. However, he did not fall under the spell of Impressionism as such, his macchiaioli days having taught him the empty significance of such spurious artistic terms of classification and identification.
Boldini was fond of his independence, believing that success would only arrive through the results of his own work and the women to whom he became attached. The fascinating brunette, Countess Gabrielle de Rasty, was one such acquaintance who revealed to him the secrets of upper-class Parisian society. Gabrielle and Boldini made a perfect couple, and Berthe, who had offered him the secrets of Montmartre, faded in his affections as the thirty-two year old painter embarked on the decisive phase of his career.
Boldini now accepted the challenge of canvases six feet high, to which he applied himself with all the aggressive verve supplied by his infinite virtuosity visibly stabbing at and adjusting his work with impetuous brio.
The gallery of Boldini’s female portraits merits a special mention: Cléo de Merode, Livia Cavalieri, Marquess Casati, Princess Bibesco, Infanta Eulalia of Spain, Mlle. Lanthelme, Donna Franca Florio, Princess Murat, Mme. Vanderbilt, Mme. Victor Hugo, Countess Ritzer and Consuelo, Duchess of Malborough (the last two portraits are shown in the present exhibition). Boldini’s male portraits are of equal interest: Robert de Montesquiou, Henri-Rochefort, Whistler, Willy, and his masterpiece, the portrait of Giuseppe Verdi (Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Rome).
For almost thirty years Boldini enjoyed favour and patronage. It is true that he was flattered by the attentions of his female sitters and by the company of some of the world’s most celebrated men, all of whom vied with each other in securing a portrait by him (costing many thousands of dollars, by present day reckoning).
But Boldini was accustomed to fame, and money was a means, not an end. He never accumulated riches; he was not particularly extravagant, but he had an unfortunate penchant for misguided investment, like that of the «Russian loan» which adsorbed most of his capital. Work was of far greater importance to him.
Towards 1900, Boldini’s success naturally provoked a hostile reaction in some circles, and he was accused of producing «immoral» art. Indifferent to these attacks, and as self-assured as ever, Boldini, often in the company of his friends Sem and Helleu, pursued his activity with renewed exertion, achieving results that sometimes border on a form of caricature with an inkling of surrealism.
On April 14th, 1909, Arsène Alexandre, one of the most enlightened critics of his time, was to write: «Today his talent has reached the top. I would almost go so far as to claim his portrait of the Marquess Casati as the finest painting at the Salon. Paradoxically so, for he has acquired an authentic effect of grandeur by a means which would appear to be incompatible with such an intention: the most daring abolition of precise draughtsmanship. We are confronted instead with a gestural indication of form which is so fine and convincing, indeed so harmoniously restrained, that one cannot avoid comparing it with the paintings of the old masters, even if the subject is essentially modern».
Despite his now considerable age, Boldini’s determination to continue painting was only impaired by his flagging ability to do so. To save pictures from his own well-intentioned but deleterious elaboration, it even became necessary to remove them from his attention. Emilia Cardona, whom the octogenarian painter married to illuminate his last few years, was a witness to his unfailing determination to continue painting to the very end. He died in 1931, only two years after marrying her.
Enrico Piceni, 1979
Giovanni Boldini was born in Ferrara on 31st December, Benvenuta Califfi’s eighth child (after him she will give birth to other five children). His father, Antonio Boldini from Spoleto, painter and restorer specialized in sacred art and portraits, will introduce “Zanin” to painting.
He realizes his first known work, the oil Il cortile della casa paterna.
At Palazzo dei Diamanti he attends the painting courses taught by Girolamo Domenichini and Giovanni Pagliarini, author with his father of the academic frescos in the local theatre. He can therefore broaden his knowledge of the 15th century art masters from Ferrara, besides Dosso Dossi and Parmigianino.
After training in copying Renaissance masterpieces, the eighteen-year-old Boldini achieves some fame as portraitist in Ferrara.
Thanks to a little inheritance from his uncle, who was a priest, and following his father’s advice, he moves to Florence in order to enrol at the Academy of Fine Arts, where Stefano Ussi and Enrico Pollastrini teach. Because of his rebellious nature, he will not attend the institute for long. During his Florentine stay he is introduced by Michele Gordigiani and Cristiano Banti to the group of Macchiaioli and to the people meeting at the Caffé Michelangiolo.
In Florence he frequents also the Caffè Doney and gets in touch with the intellectuals and the foreigner personalities residing in Tuscany, like the members of the Russian Laskaraki or the English Falconer families, who frequently invite him to their villa “La Falconiera” in Pistoia.
In Castiglioncello he is hosted by Diego Martelli, whose portrait he will paint two years later (Florence, Modern art gallery).
With Cristiano Banti he reaches Naples, where he is fascinated by the Neapolitan atmosphere and by the original style of some local Naturalist artists.
He also realizes some portraits of the colleague and his family, obtaining the approval but also some criticisms from the circle of Macchiaioli who disapprove his “always beautiful and shiny” colour.
He executes the portrait of the Laskaraki sisters (Ferrara, Boldini Museum) and obtains his first important commission, that is the tempera decoration of the Falconiera in Pistoia, with rural scenes placed in the Tuscan landscape. He travels to France with the Falconers. In Montecarlo he paints the Generale spagnolo, one of his best early works, as he himself will say later. In Paris he visits the Universal Exhibition and he meets Degas, Sisley and Manet. Then he relates to the most popular masters in the capital, like Gérôme and Meissonier.
He completes the frescos in the Falconiera. In this year he reaches London, hosted by William Cornwallis West, already met in Florence, who makes an atelier in the city centre available to him. He admires the English portraits, especially the ones painted by Gainsborough, which he saw with Turner, and he successfully paints several portraits of local ladies.
He moves to Paris and opens a new atelier in Avenue Frochol, then in Place Pigalle, where he lives with the model Berthe. He starts cooperating with the influential art dealer Goupil – for whom Giuseppe Palizzi, de Nittis, Fortuny and Meissonier already work – and realizes a series of little genre paintings, set in the 18th century.
At the Salon he exhibits with success Les blanchisseuses (The laundresses). He breaks off with the lower class partner, Berthe, and starts a new relationship with the Countess Gabrielle de Rasty, who will introduce him to the high society of the capital.
At the Salon he presents a Portrait of the Countess de Rasty, his new muse. From now on he starts stretching his brush stroke and opens the crucial and brilliant period of his career.
In May he gets quickly back to Ferarra for his mother’s death.
He travels to Germany where he meets and portrays Menzel, and to Holland where he gets impressed by Frans Hals’s works.
He becomes the most fashionable portrait painter, a prodigy, in the fin de siècle Paris thanks to his darting and snakelike feminine creatures.
From this time forward he increases his production of pastels.
He travels to Nice, then to Florence, hosted by the Banti family.
He moves from Place Pigalle to the elegant Boulevarde Berthier, where he portrays Giuseppe Verdi – a musician he adored and had met after seeing him conducting at the Opéra – in the very famous pastel, today at the Gallery of Modern Art in Rome.
Boldini’s success as a fashionable painter is proved by the host of portraits commissioned by the protagonists of tout Paris.
He his appointed commissioner for the artistic section of the Universal Exposition in Paris. On this occasion he presents eight works in all, among which the Ritratto di Verdi and the portrait of the niece of the Chilean ambassador to the Vatican Emiliana Concha de Ossa. The painting, known also as Pastello bianco, is a masterful example of this technique also on extended surfaces.
He goes to Spain with Degas. The journey represents an innovation in his painting, which is fully influenced by the ferments of ten years training.
Meissonier founds, with Puvis de Chavannes, the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, as a result of the secession from the Salon des Indépendants, which without a panel and without awards, offers anybody the opportunity to exhibit. Also Boldini, with Sisley, Blanche and Rodin takes part in the event.
Then, probably as consequence of his learning of the Swedish painter Anders Zorn’s works, he decides to increase the size of his canvas.
He gets back to Italy, to Montorsoli, hosted by Banti, to satisfy the request of the Museo degli Uffizi for his Autoritratto, which he paints in exchange for a cast of the bust of the Cardinale de’ Medici by Bernini.
He gets back to Paris where for a year he gives painting lessons to the young and rich American Ruth Sterling.
Once again he takes part in the Exposition of Paris with the portait Ritratto di Whistler of the Brooklyn Museum of New York and the portrait of the Infanta Eulalia di Spagna (Ferrara, Boldini Museum).
This is also the year when the artist is invited to Palermo by the Florio family to paint the portrait of the baroness Franca, which later will be modified because her husband considered it too audacious.
He proposes to Adelaide Banti, he had often portrayed before, but the marriage with his friend’s daughter does not take place. In Paris he has an affair with Mrs de Joss de Couchy.
At the beginning of the First World War he moves to London and then to the Côte d’Azur, in Nice, with his new model Lina until 1918.
A serious problem with his eyesight forces him to reduce his activity.
When the War is drawing to a close he returns to Paris, where the following year the French government confers the Legion of Honour on him.
By now a sick person with a weaker and weaker eyesight, during an interview for the “Gazzetta del Popolo”, he meets the thirty-year-old Italian journalist Emilia Cardona, who he marries on 29th October 1929.
He dies in Paris, at the end of a glorious artistic career, on 11th January at the age of 89 years.
A. Soffici, Italiani all’estero. Boldini, in “La Voce”, 18 marzo
F. De Pisis, Una visita a Giovanni Boldini, in “Corriere Padano”, 4 ottobre
J.E. Blanche, Portraits féminins de Boldini, in “L’Illustration française”, 5 dicembre
E. Cardona, Vie de Jean Boldini, Figuière, Parigi
U. Ojetti, Boldini, in “Corriere della Sera”, 13 gennaio
A. Cecioni, Opere e scritti, a cura di E. Somaré, Edizioni d’Arte moderna L’Esame, Milano
M. Tinti, Giovanni Boldini ante Parigi, in “Emporium”, luglio
E. Cardona, Lo Studio di Giovanni Boldini, Rizzoli, Milano
E. Piceni, Ritratto della marchesa. Un perito d’arte nega che si tratti di un Boldini, in “Corriere d’Informazione”, 21-22 luglio
E. Piceni, Per colpa del pittore la bimba fu bocciata, in “Corriere d’Informazione”, 28-29 maggio
E. Cardona, Boldini nel suo tempo, Daria Guarnati, Milano
D. Cecchi, Giovanni Boldini, Unione tipografico-editrice torinese, Torino
E. Cardona-R. De Grada-E. Piceni, Boldini, Il Torchietto, Milano
E. Camesasca, L’opera completa di Boldini, introduzione di C.L. Ragghianti, Rizzoli, Milano
D. Martelli, Esposizione di Belle Arti in Parigi 1870. Impressioni in punta di penna, in “La rivista Europea”, II, 3, Firenze, 1 agosto 1870
D. Prandi, Catalogo dell’opera incisa di Giovanni Boldini, Reggio Emilia
S. Bartolini, Giovanni Boldini. Un macchiaiolo a Collegigliato, Il Torchio, Firenze
E. Piceni, Boldini. L’uomo e l’opera, Bramante, Milano
V. Doria, Boldini inedito, Grafis, Bologna
P. Dini, Boldini Macchiaiolo, Umberto Allemandi, Torino
A. Buzzoni-M. Toffanello (a cura di), Museo Giovanni Boldini. Catalogo generale completamente illustrato, ed. Ferrara Arte, Ferrara
M. M. Lamberti, La Maison Goupil e gli artisti italiani, in catalogo della mostra (Livorno, 1998-1999), pp. 60-65
G. Matteucci, “Intender non la può chi non la prova…”, in catalogo della mostra (Livorno, 1998-1999), pp. 9-28
T. Panconi, Giovanni Boldini. L’uomo e la pittura, Pacini Editore, Pisa
B. Doria, Catalogo generale degli archivi Boldini, Rizzoli, Milano
G. Belli, Impressionisti? No grazie!, in catalogo della mostra (Trento, 2001), pp. 11-15
A. Borgogelli, Boldini a cavallo di due secoli, in catalogo della mostra (Trento, 2001), pp. 31-45
F. Dini, In margine al centenario della scomparsa dell’insigne compositore: Boldini e Verdi, in “Nuova Antologia”, vol. 587, fascicolo 2220, Firenze
C. Sisi, Diego Martelli e la nouvelle peinture, in catalogo della mostra (Trento, 2001), pp. 23-29
F. Dini-P. Dini, Giovanni Boldini (1842/1931). Catalogo ragionato, Umberto Allemandi, Torino
T. Panconi, Giovanni Boldini. L’opera completa, Edifir, Firenze
F. Dini, Dalla “macchia” alla Belle Epoque: il geniale virtuosismo di Boldini, in catalogo della mostra (Padova, 2005)
F. Mazzocca, Il genio inafferrabile di Boldini e la sua discussa fortuna, in catalogo della mostra (Padova, 2005)
T. Panconi, Giovanni Boldini, un geniale antipatico, in “L’Ottocento, indagini etiche ed estetiche per il collezionista d’arte”, Pisa
C. Sisi, Boldini, Goupil e il Settecento ritrovato, in catalogo della mostra (Padova, 2005)
F. Dini, Boldini e gli “artisti italiani di Parigi”, in catalogo della mostra (Roma, 2009-2010)
M. Doria, I disegni di Giovanni Boldini: catalogo generale, Skira, Milano
N. Colombo, Belle Epoque. La Parigi di Boldini, De Nittis e Zandomeneghi, in catalogo della mostra (Milano, 2015-2016), pp. 9-13
New York, Wildenstein Gallery, autunno
Parigi, Exposition Internationale Universelle de 1900. Catalogue officiel spécial d’Italie
Buenos Aires, Wildenstein Gallery, Exposition Boldini
New York, Wildestein & co., Loan Exhibition of Painting by Boldini, 20 marzo-8 aprile
Ferrara, Palazzo dei Diamanti, Boldini al Palazzo dei Diamanti
Firenze, Istituto Francese, Boldini e Parigi. Acquerelli e disegni, a cura di E. Piceni, 25 maggio-15 giugno
Ferrara, Casa Romei, Boldini, a cura di E. Cardona Boldini-G.Gelli-E. Piceni, luglio-ottobre
Parigi, Musée Jacquemart-André, Boldini, a cura di E. Cardona Boldini-E. Piceni, marzo-maggio
New York, Stair Sainty Matthiesen, Three Italians Friends of the Impressionists. Boldini, De Nittis, Zandomeneghi, a cura di G. Matteucci-E. Steingräber, 14 marzo-20 aprile
Pistoia, Convento di S. Domenico, Giovanni Boldini, a cura di P. Dini, 28 settembre-15 novembre
Montecatini Terme-Torino, Azienda Autonoma di Cura e Soggiorno-Mole Antonelliana, Dal Caffè Michelangelo al Caffè Nouvelle Athènes. I Macchiaioli tra Firenze e Parigi, a cura di P. Dini, 23 agosto-5 ottobre, 25 ottobre-30 novembre
Montecatini Terme, Azienda Autonoma di Cura e Soggiorno, La donna e la moda nella pittura italiana del secondo ‘800 nelle collezioni private, a cura di P. Dini, 30 luglio-30 settembre
Milano, Museo della Permanente, Una stanza a Montmartre. Il paesaggio francese nella pittura italiana da Boldini a Birolli, a cura di A. Ghinzani-G. Raboni, 7 novembre-3 gennaio
Livorno, Villa Mimbelli, Museo Civico “Giovanni Fattori”, Aria di Parigi nella pittura italiana del secondo Ottocento, a cura di G. Matteucci, 4 dicembre-5 aprile
Trento, Palazzo delle Albere, Boldini, De Nittis, Zandomeneghi. Mondanità e costume nella Parigi fin de siècle, a cura di G. Belli, 12 aprile-29 luglio
Ferrara, Palazzo dei Diamanti, Degas e gli italiani di Parigi, a cura di A. Dumas, 14 settembre-16 novembre
Padova, Palazzo Zabarella, Boldini, a cura di F. Dini-F. Mazzocca-C. Sisi, 15 gennaio-29 maggio
Castiglioncello, Centro per l’arte Diego Martelli, Castello Pasquini, Boldini, Helleu, Sem. Protagonisti e miti della Belle Époque, a cura di F. Dini, 7 luglio-12 novembre
Barletta, Palazzo della Marra, Pinacoteca “G. De Nittis”, Zandomeneghi, De Nittis, Renoir. I pittori della felicità, a cura di T. Sparagni-E. Angiuli, 31 marzo-15 luglio
Montecatini Terme, Terme Tamerici, Boldini. Mon amour, a cura di T. Panconi, 18 settembre-30 dicembre
Ferrara-Williamstown, Palazzo dei Diamanti-Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Boldini nella Parigi degli Impressionisti, a cura di S. Lees, 20 settembre-10 gennaio, 14 febbraio-25 aprile
Roma, Chiostro del Bramante, Boldini e gli italiani a Parigi. Tra realtà e impressione, a cura di F. Dini, 14 novembre-14 marzo
Como, Villa Olmo, Boldini e la Belle Époque, a cura di S. Gaddi-T. Panconi, 26 marzo-24 luglio
Milano, Galleria Bottegantica, Giovanni Boldini. Capolavori e opere inedite dall’Atelier dell’artista, a cura di S. Bosi-E. Savoia, 25 febbraio-30 aprile
Rovigo-Bordeaux, Palazzo Roverella, Galerie des Beaux-Arts, La Maison Goupil e l’Italia. Il successo italiano a Parigi negli anni dell’Impressionismo, a cura P. Serafini, 22 febbraio-23 giugno, 23 ottobre-2 febbraio
Milano, GAM Manzoni, Boldini. Parisien d’Italie, a cura di F.L. Maspes-E. Savoia, 24 ottobre- 18 gennaio
Milano, GAM Manzoni, Belle Epoque. La Parigi di Boldini, De Nittis e Zandomeneghi, 23 ottobre-21 febbraio
Forlì, Musei di San Domenico, Boldini. Lo spettacolo della modernità, a cura di F. Dini-F. Mazzocca, 1 febbraio-14 giugno
Roma, Complesso del Vittoriano, Giovanni Boldini, a cura di T. Panconi-S. Gaddi, 4 marzo-16 luglio