Abandoned places, buildings, houses and apartments have a special charm because they tell the story of some past times and give an insight into the way of life as it used to be. One of the most famous such apartments is that of Madame de Florian, which was discovered in Paris in 2010.
Marthe de Florian was an actress and courtesan, born on September 9, 1864. She was known for having famous lovers including Georges Clemenceau, Pierre Waldeck-Rousseau, Paul Deschanel, Gaston Doumergue, Robert de Montesquiou and Giovanni Boldini.
Courtesans in history were known for drinking, gambling and excessive spending. They were also always decorated in the highest fashion and were usually in the company of many famous and rich lovers.
De Florian left her Paris apartment in 1942
De Florian left her Paris apartment in 1942 at the height of the war and fled to the south of France.
Although she paid rent for the rest of her life, she never returned to the apartment that had been closed for more than 70 years. "It was 1942 and she was just 23 years old when she locked up the apartment she had inherited from her grandmother and left town.
For the following 70 years, de Florian paid the rent and upkeep on the home without ever returning." Because the apartment that was discovered was untouched, it was a perfect replica of a courtesan's home from the end of the nineteenth century.
In the apartment there was a stunning dressing table, a bottle of some ancient perfume, a stuffed ostrich wrapped in a glamorous scarf. Pictures, jewels, four-poster bed, wallpaper... everything looked like something from a fairy tale.
While researching the art in the apartment, historian Olivier Choppin-Janvry came across an expensive painting by Giovanni Boldini whose value was estimated at 300,000 euros, but due to great interest it was sold at auction for as much as 2 million euros.
Love letters were also found in the apartment, stacked and tied with silk ribbons, which proved to be crucial in establishing that the portrait is the original Boldini and that he and Madame Florian were in a romantic relationship.