Description A woman enjoys a moment of quiet reflection, resting her guitar on her thigh. Her brilliantly embroidered bolero—a short jacket associated with bullfighting—is lined with red satin, and her pink dress traces the outline of her body. The monogram in the upper right is formed of the letters “L” and “V,” but the woman’s identity is unknown. The painting evokes the sights and sounds of Spain, and we may imagine that its subject is a flamenco performer. Flamenco—a folkloric music tradition comprising singing and dancing—is associated with southern Spain. Boldini and other 19th-century European artists were fascinated by Spain, particularly the southern region, whose culture was shaped by Muslim Arabs; many Europeans viewed it as an exotic locale. In the 1870s, following his relocation to Paris, Boldini painted scenes of Spain on several occasions, inspired by the Spanish painter Mariano Fortuny (1838–74), who worked with free brushstrokes in vibrant color.
- Boldini and his Circle. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2018-2021.
Provenance Private collection, France; purchased by Alexis Bordes, Paris; purchased by James Mackinnon, Midhurst, West Sussex, England, 2013; purchased by Walters Art Museum, 2018.
Inscriptions [Signature] Lower left: Boldini
Credit Museum purchase with funds provided by the bequest of Margaret Hammond Cooke, 2017
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