In 1942, a young Parisian woman fearing Nazi persecution fled to Southern France, leaving behind a lavish apartment in Paris that she would never return to. 70 years later, its hidden trove of artwork has finally been exposed for the first time.
The owner of the apartment died three years ago at the age of 91, which is when the owner’s executor sent a team to investigate the apartment she left behind. They found a wonderfully-preserved and sumptuous Parisian apartment filled with beautiful antiques and artwork.
One piece, however, stood out from the rest of the artistic and historic relics – 19th-century Italian painter Giovanni Boldini’s portrait of his muse, Marthe de Florian. In the painting, this famous Parisian socialite and actress is depicted wearing a beautiful and revealing pink muslin dress. The painting was painted in 1888, when de Florian was just 24 years old. The painting itself has been valued at roughly $3.4 million.
In an interesting twist befitting of such a discovery, it turns out that the apartment’s late owner was none other than Marthe de Florian’s granddaughter. It is by the love notes and letters between de Florian and Boldini found at the apartment that the woman in the painting was identified.