year: 1924

Giovanni Boldini: Donna Franca Florio (1924)

The Florio family had an estate near Palermo called Olivuzza, a focal point for royalty, including Wilhelm II, Emperor of Germany, aristocracy and high ranking officials. Donna Franca was considered by Jean Philippe Worth to be the best-dressed and most beautiful woman in Italy and her husband’s fortune afforded her the life of a sovereign. While Don Ignazio’s enterprises included the “Marsala Florio”, his other projects in Palermo resulted in the Teatro Massimo, the Hospital, and the Institute for the Blind - buildings which were worthy enough to compete with the latest government constructions in Rome, such as the Palace of Justice. Following the financial ruin of the Florio family their painting collection was sold between the years of 1927 and 1928. A full length portrait by Boldini of Donna Franca Floria, dated 1924, was sold at Christie’s New York, 1 November 1995, lot 12.