Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Boldini's Elsie de Wolfe

From Architectural Digest:

De Wolfe was a popular actress and fashion plate, though, so Boldini’s flatteringly piquant portrait attracted much public interest though muted critical admiration. Per an April 1898 report about “a very striking… sketch of Miss Elsie de Wolfe” in Munsey’s Magazine, “It is very broadly painted, with no attention to detail, and a notice is placed in the frame telling us it is the work of one afternoon. Like everything Boldini does, it is brilliant and clever, but for all that, it is a little hard. One cannot but wish to see it a hundred years from now, when those whites will be toned down.” De Wolfe was pleased with results, apparently, and asked the artist to come to 49 Irving Place to help find the perfect spot for displaying the canvas. The location that was selected is unknown: the painting, either small in scale or large, does not appear in any contemporary photographs of the Irving Place house nor of Villa Trianon. (Read more.)


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