Talk:Marthe de Florian

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Date of the portrait[edit]

It is unclear because at some point there was a typo. AFP report states the portrait to be from 1898, when the model was 24, but the model was born in 1864, hence either it was painted in 1898 when she was 34, or it was painted in 1888 when she was 24. It is unclear and as most of the news can all be traced to AFP, hence the source is contradictory. From the image itself, displaying a younger woman, the fact that the lady was apparently already doing a lot of business in 1888, and that in or arround 1898 Boldini was travelling a lot, even to USA, it seems to indicate that the picture was indeed done in 1888 and the AFP made a typo in the report; until a good first hand source authoritatively defines the date, it will remain debated. I leave this note here. Please do not post blog links, neither newspaper articles, as they are all getting the scarce information from the unique contradictory source, the true reply has to come from some art authority/museum etc. Alchaemist (talk) 06:08, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

The date of the portrait is recorded as 1889; this was found by the art appraiser, Marc Ottavi, in one of Boldini's personal journals, by Boldini's own hand. This journal entry is what attested the painting as original. Marthe de Florian was born 9 September 1864, which means she would have been 24 from 9 September 1888 to 8 September 1889, so mostly 24 in the year 1889. --Rootwarden (talk) 23:59, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

Just checking, the Boldini's book from 1951... didn't state the paint was from 1888? I don't remember now, when I made the article it looked as being from 1888, but if you are confident it was from 1889, go ahead and change it. Too lazy to do the research again myself :) Alchaemist (talk) 14:21, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

The only thing I'm confident of without seeing either Cardona's book or Boldini's personal journal is that the portrait was done sometime between 9 September 1888 and 8 September 1889 (the period de Florian would be 24). To put it another way, for visualization: she would have been 24 for the last four months in 1888, and for the first eight months of 1889. If we play the game of odds, chances are it was finished in 1889, the year she was 24 the longest, but who knows, maybe it was done in time as a Christmas present. Without being able to see either source, maybe all we can say is "circa 1888/9". Root Warden (talk) 09:28, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Btw, if anyone has Cardona's book and would provide a capture of the mention of the painting, that would be divine; the book is very hard to come by. It's either at certain libraries, or you must buy it on eBay, there might be one or two available. Probably not for long. Root Warden (talk) 09:28, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Marthe de Florian's Tombstone?[edit]

can someone read this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:48, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

The gravestone says "Here rests the body: of Madame Florian DelMarcelle. Born Antoinette Sansonet. ??? died in Namur the 29th November, 191?, at the age of 63 years. ??? of all the sacrements." Question marks indicate text that's not readable. But there's enough to clearly see this woman has nothing to do with Heloise Mathilde Beaugiron (de Florian) or her granddaughter (born, Solange Beaugiron). --Rootwarden (talk) 10:30, 10 March 2015 (UTC)


I don't know where "actress" was first used to describe Marthe de Florian's "profession", but I've never seen any source that proves it was true. From the research I've done in French archives like Gallica, she was a fixture at a lot of theaters, but only as being spotted in the audience, not on stage. In fact, she seemingly went from embroiderer to demimondaine in less than five years (between 19 and 24 years old), with a new child born at the start of that time. There would not have been any time for her to be an actress prior to her demimondaine status that would warrant using this tongue-in-cheek description now. If this label, "actress," is to be perpetuated, it should have some validity. I don't find any. Does anyone else know a source that would prove she actually spent even five minutes on a stage? Rootwarden (talk) 12:33, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

I totally agree, there is no single evidence that she was an actress at all. I'll simply removem it, and it can be readded if something surfaces at a later time. Alchaemist (talk) 14:00, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

Embroiderer, not seamstress[edit]

One of those things that people continually get incorrect is interpreting "brodeuse" (de Florian's profession on her sons' birth records) as seamstress. "Brodeuse" in French means embroiderer. The French word for seamstress is couturière. Not exactly the same thing. While both trades deal with needle and thread, a seamstress would sew clothes together while an embroiderer would decorate them, along with any other cloth-based textiles like curtains, bags, shoes, furniture and so forth. Rootwarden (talk) 12:35, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

Solange Beaugiron (granddaughter)[edit]

There are some things we don't yet know about Solange Beaugiron (de Florian's granddaughter), so the text should not make it sound like we do. First, we don't know when Solange actually left Paris. A lot of dodgy reports (including the original AFP news reports from 2010, which don't get all the facts right either) say she left before the Nazi's invaded, meaning she would have had to be gone prior to 14 June 1940 when the Nazis first enter the city, but my research is starting to suggest she left when they were already there — maybe as late as 1943, and possibly later — working under her pseudonym, Solange Beldo. In any case, the best we can say is "sometime in the early-to-mid 1940s." (The "70 years" claim about the apartment's abandonment is an exaggeration by the press. Henri Beaugiron was in the neighborhood for another 24 years, he certainly would have been checking on the apartment, if not actually living in it, and he was living in it with his mother at time of her death.) In fact, we don't even know that Solange left Paris because of the Nazis at all. Maybe it was a factor, but not the entire or primary reason. Second, whenever people hear or read "south of France" they automatically think "French Riviera," but the two are not equivalent. You can live in southern France and not be anywhere near the ocean. So we can't say "French Riviera" without knowing for sure where, exactly she went. Finally, we don't have a birth or death record for Solange, so we can't say for sure what year she was born nor what month in 2010 she died. I.e., we can't say she was born in "1919" (not without knowing the month and day) nor can we say that she died in "June" of 2010. In fact, odds are better that she died in May 2010; it would have taken time -- a couple of weeks, at least -- for legal and administration procedures to happen before Choppin de Janvry could enter the apartment in June. Root Warden (talk) 07:34, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

I changed it to south of France, I don't know where the Riviera came from, but there are too much unreliable sources related to this story, so south of France seems safer and also covers the Riviera. Alchaemist (talk) 14:17, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

Auguste Albert Gaston Florian Mollard[edit]

There is a lot of hype/speculation that this man (presumably a married banker), or somebody by some combination of that series of names, was an early lover of Marthe de Florian, possibly the father of her boys, and possibly where she took her pseudonym from. However, after extensive research I find no evidence of the source -- whether English or French -- that would have accurately suggested this possibility in the first place; the single source that does refer to it is on this page (a little ways down, in a post by P.Y. Leclerc dated 2011-01-16 23:01:47). Leclerc describes the two birth records for de Florian's boys and says the second witness noted on each record is "a certain Gaston Mollard de Florian." But I have those records (they're available online), and they don't say that at all, anywhere, not even close. So where is the source that shows any possible connection to this supposed Gaston Mollard Florian (or whoever he is) come from? --Root Warden (talk) 13:32, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

I agree there is no evidence, the whole story has little evidence, but the (subjective, I agree) chances that there was indeed a connection are there. I changed the text to establish this speculation, it should be enough of a warning I guess. I don't like the idea of removing this bit, because if we remove everything for which there is no absolute proof, we could just delete the article itself however it is an interesting story. Alchaemist (talk) 14:15, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

Yes, it is indeed an interesting story. One that has captured the imaginations of thousands, mine included. Rootwarden (talk) 11:14, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Date of Death[edit]

Just curious, I have noticed that the date and place of death was added [1] is there anything supporting that? By the time the article was done, that was totally unknown. regards Alchaemist (talk) 14:30, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

Yes, it's cited on the Article side, currently reference #5, Marthe de Florian's civil death record. A very key/important piece of information. Rootwarden (talk) 11:21, 4 April 2015 (UTC)