During the heart of the German occupation in 1942, France was turned upside down by Nazi dictatorship which left much of the French population with no choice but to flee their homes, including a French woman who escaped to the south of France. Ever since then, although she never returned to her apartment, peculiarly, she continued to pay the rent year after year. Three years ago she passed away at the age of 91, which led to the discovery of a true turn of the century gem.
When her former home was investigated after her death no-one could have predicted what would lie beneath the dust that had been gathering for seven decades. Behind the doors to her apartment was a charming Parisian boudoir full of affluence and glamour, revealing her evident life of luxury. Among the beautifully preserved French interior and furniture was a treasure trove of trinkets. But the most surprising find, was a painting which has since been said to be worth $3.4 million.
The painting was a portrait of a muse, who was later identified as Marthe de Florian, an actress and socialite who famously had a long list of admirers including former French prime minister George Clemenceau. She was identified by a series of love letters between herself and the painter, Italian artist Giovanni Boldin. The owner of the apartment was Marthe de Florian’s grand-daughter, so the mystery surrounding the question of why she continued to pay her rent for so many years was answered.