Every town has its secrets and Paris definitely knows how to preserve its own.. Madame Marthe de Florian born as Mathilde Héloïse Beaugiron was a French socialite and actress famed for her captivating beauty which attracted lovers as Georges Clemenceau, later prime minister of France and the painter Giovanni Boldini, one of the most famous artists of the 19th century, who elegendly painted a portrait of hers which had never been exhibited or published. The mysterious beauty resided a luxurious apartement in the right Bank of Paris, not far from Saint-Trinité till 1939, which was later inherited by her grandaughter Solange Beaugiron also known as Madame De Florian.
At the age of 23, amid the chaos of the Second World War, Madame de Florian was obliged to flee Paris for the South of France, locking her apartment and leaving behind everything she owned, apparently never to return. From 1942 till she passed away in 2010 at the age of 91, she continued to pay the rent and during all this time her apartment remained locked and untouched as frozen in time. After her death the decadent apartment was visited by actioneers who were astonished by the the collection of luxurious items, furnishings, paintings even a Mickey Mouse toy much older than many Walt Disney movies! Among the above a marvellous Boldini portrait of a beautiful woman wearing a pink muslin dress accompanied, by a stack of ribbon bound love letters.
In 2010, the portrait was auctioned and sold for the staggering sum of €2.1 million.