In 1942, the owner of one Parisian apartment left her home for Southern France, trying to escape a Nazi raid. Although she never returned to the apartment, she kept paying the rent until her death at the age of 91. Interestingly, the owner of the apartment was the granddaughter of Marthe de Florian – a true Parisian gem of her time, a socialite and an actress with many admirers lining up at her door.
The apartment had been isolated until her death three years ago when the owner‘s executor sent a team to investigate her past home. The Parisian “Time Capsule“ included not only the beautifully-preserved luxurious interior but also a stunning painting featuring a woman in a pink muslin evening dress.
The painting was identified as19th century Italian painter Giovanni Boldini’s portrait of Marthe de Florian, his muse and the grandmother of the woman who left the apartment behind so long ago. The painter and the muse were identified from love notes written by Boldini to Madame de Florian that were discovered in the apartment. It was later specified that the artwork was painted in 1898 when the muse was 24.
The value of the painting has already reached $3.4 M and the painting is considered to be one of the finest art discoveries of this century.