Madame de Florian by Giovanni Boldini © Getty Images
Who? Actress and socialite Marthe de Florian was famed for her captivating beauty, ever surrounded by swirling rumours that she was lover to numerous great men, including Georges Clemenceau, later prime minister of France and the painter Giovanni Boldini.
What? Florian resided in a breath-taking apartment on Paris’ Right Bank, which she left to her granddaughter, Madame de Florian. At the age of 23, amid the chaos of the Second World War, Madame de Florian fled Paris for the South of France, apparently never to return, but she continued to pay rent on the building until her death at the age of 91.
Why? The painting recently sold for an astounding €2.1 million – the highest selling Boldini work of all time.