Painting Found in Apartment Sells for $3M

A 19th-century painting by the Italian artist Giovanni Boldini that was found in an abandoned Paris apartment has sold on the auction block for nearly $3 million. The owner of the apartment had locked the doors at the start of World War II, moved to the south of France, and never returned. After her recent death, investigators came to evaluate the state of the apartment. Found among the think layers of dust were an early Mickey Mouse toy, a wood stove, a stone sink—and the Boldini painting of a woman in a pink muslin evening dress. The woman in the painting—who was rumored to be admired by French Prime Minister George Clemenceau—turned out to be the grandmother of the woman who abandoned the apartment. Although the painting had never been recorded in records as being by Boldini, art historians found a love letter written by the artist in the apartment. One historian later found a reference to the work in a book by the artist's widow, which said it had been painted in 1898.