Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Once upon a Time : An Apartment in Paris

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When you hear about an old apartment left untouched for 70 years you already think about a plot of a movie.If the apartment is placed in none other than Paris and has a very luxurious interior than the story gets even better.
The owner of this flat was a lady named Mrs. de Florian who died at the age of 91.She left to the south of France before the oubreak of World War II and she never visited the apartment again, eventhough the rent was always paid.Nobody knew what was inside of it until 2010.
After her death, experts were tasked with drawing up an inventory of her possessions and homed in on the flat near the Trinité church in Paris between the Pigalle red light district and Opera.
An expert reffered to this place as "the castle of Sleeping beauty".
Marthe de Florian by Giovanni Baldini (1888)
The painting is by Giovanni Boldini and the beautiful woman in it is none other than Mrs. de Florian's grandmother and Boldini's muse.Marthe de Florian was an actress, a socialite and Boldini's lover, despite the fact that he was a very married man.Their old love letters were found along with the painting that were tied with colored ribbon..
A love-note and a biographical reference to the work painted in 1888, when the actress was 24, cemented its authenticity. The full length portrait of the lady in the same clothing and accessories, but less provocative, hangs in the New Orleans Museum of Art. A short reference found in a book from 1951 commissioned by the artist's widow Emilia Cardona also confirmed the provenance of the painting. According to the book, the work was painted in 1888, when the actress was 24 years old. After its rediscovery and subsequent research into its provenance, the painting was put to auction with a starting price of €300,000, but the sale price rocketed as ten bidders pushed the final price to €2.1 million, a world record for the artist.

Who knew Paris hides such great stories, right ? 
images via google

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