Portrait of Donna Franca
Giovanni Boldini -- Italian-French
Oil on canvas
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.
a second copy
Special thanks to Gabriella Alu',
of Palermo, Italy and Stephanie, both friends
of the JSS Gallery, for gathering much of this info together for me.