In 2010 the owner passed away at the age of 91. Her executor discovered the apartment and a team was sent to investigate. What they found was astonishing. Under a thick layer of dust was a trove of turn-of-the-century objects including several paintings that were set aside for further analysis.
One painting in particular, a portrait of a lady in a pink dress, would turn out to be an incredible find.
After analysis, the painting was discovered to be painted by 19th century Italian artist Giovanni Boldini. It turns out the woman in the pink muslin evening dress was his muse, an actress by the name of Marthe de Florian. In addition to Boldini, de Florian had a long list of admirers, including the 72nd Prime Minster of France, George Clemenceau.
The painting, which was completed in 1894, showed de Florian at the age of 24. What’s even more fascinating is that the owner of the apartment was actually the granddaughter of Marthe de Florian! After going to auction, the painting fetched a cool $3.4 million, a record price for the artist.
Photographs by Getty