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Giovanni Boldù

Venetian, active c. 1454 - before 1477

Boldù, Giovanni di Pasqualino

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Biography

Giovanni di Pasqualino Boldù records himself on his medals as a painter, in direct imitation of the style used by Pisanello, but there is no surviving painting ascribed to Boldù. In documents Boldù is called pictor or depentor (for painter) and maistro de nape (Venetian dialect for mappe) which shows that he was a decorator of chimneypieces. The documents mentioning him are dated 1454 and 1475. His will is dated 1473 and he is known to have died before 1477, as his widow left a will of that year which shows her to have remarried.

Boldù's six signed medals are dated 1457 or 1458, and two medals are attributed to him; of those two, that of Caracalla (NGA 1957.14.736.a,b), is dated 1466. The medals show an affectation of scholarship, which may suggest that Boldù had some connection with Padua. His technique for finishing medals, with its 'wiry' character, suggests that the medalist had a background in metal working or in gem cutting. One of his reverse types, on the medal of Schlifer (NGA 1957.14.733.a,b) even copies a gem.

[This is the artist's biography published in the NGA systematic catalogue of Renaissance medals.]

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