the time that time stood still
hello gang, how are you this afternoon? it’s beyond dreary here, it’s practically a monsoon! i kind of like the change of weather though, it’s a chance to nest and have an excuse not to run around doing errands. i took this afternoon to play around a little on the net. i wrote about a very romantic story in 2010 and it’s starting to circulate again without much new news. i dug a bit to try to conjure up what may have caused the stir and found a couple of tidbits to add to the same pics that we’ve seen over the past few years. maybe i’m projecting but it’s kind of fun to speculate about what happened.
you may remember the seductive madame de florian, an actress and sort of demimondaine, or upscale courtesan of her day. (it was a somewhat respectable life in the 1800s despite what we imagine their prudish victorian ways to have been). she sounds like quite the socialite and party girl as she lived in the 9e which is close to the cabarets and red light district. madame was quite the ‘it girl’ and was painted by one of the great artists of the day, giovanni boldini. when her apartment was unlocked a couple of years ago, it was discovered to be just as she left it one day and it’s been the same ever since.
gynneth even paid tribute to her in a fashion shoot.
the story goes:
In 1942, a young Parisian woman fearing Nazi persecution fled to Southern France, leaving behind a lavish apartment in Paris that she would never return to. 70 years later, its hidden trove of artwork has finally been exposed for the first time.
The owner of the apartment died three years ago at the age of 91, which is when the owner’s executor sent a team to investigate the apartment she left behind. They found a wonderfully-preserved and sumptuous Parisian apartment filled with beautiful antiques and artwork.
One piece, however, stood out from the rest of the artistic and historic relics – 19th-century Italian painter Giovanni Boldini’s portrait of his muse, Marthe de Florian. In the painting, this famous Parisian socialite and actress is depicted wearing a beautiful and revealing pink muslin dress. The painting was painted in 1888, when de Florian was just 24 years old. The painting itself has been valued at roughly $3.4 million.
In an interesting twist befitting of such a discovery, it turns out that the apartment’s late owner was none other than Marthe de Florian’s granddaughter. It is by the love notes and letters between de Florian and Boldini found at the apartment that the woman in the painting was identified.
anyway she and the artist may have had a quite a few rendevous calls (possibly there) where she was captured in all her turn of the century glory at 24 years old.
he must have been quite the player; dapper, talented, charismatic…everyone who was anyone wanted her portrait painted by none other.
he even painted himself as quite the gent! they did find a love letter or two from him to her. i can’t help but imagine their lives at the time, the story does stir the imagination. maybe a typical day was sort like this for the few months he painted her:
pinterest.com/pin/232779874462232400 (a contemporary of his was john singer sargent, shot here in his studio, Paris in the 1800s), as i said i’m projecting and it’s just my imagination running around!
i came across some great images when surfing about it. snippets of daily life at the time.
the subjects of the pictures, paintings and etchings are so perfectly fitted to a paris we all seem to romanticize. their demeanor, clothing, accessories and even their poses.
such a life of celebration, beauty, creativity and joie de vivre at the time!
for some, anyway!
there was dancing in the streets for god’s sake!
i did find this one new one:
it all seems so lovely but there is some mystery and underlying strangeness in the story. many people are speculating about it. i wonder if we’ll ever really know.
google earth brings us round to today. below is her apartmetment building in paris!
and here is a discussion where they’re trying to solve it. let us know if you find out anything to add!
in the meantime, it’s that time again, another giveaway! today’s comes from shop sucre who is offering a reader a box of their beautiful macaroons. if you have a weak spot for them, leave a comment and we’ll draw the winner on monday the 20th.
wow, it’s evening, how did time pass so quick here when it stood still for so long just a moment ago? better get to stepping, i have a caller myself en route. have a cozy night full of intrigue and romance!