The Treasure Behind the Wall

In the recreation of six levels of separation, this was one: Mr. Bolen’s mother-in-law, Annette de la Renta, had cousins (through her mom, Jane Engelhard) who had married into the de La Rochefoucauld household, storied members of the French aristocracy. One of these members of the family occurred to reside throughout the avenue from the new de la Renta boutique.

So when the portray was discovered, and it turned clear Mr. Bolen must speak to the constructing’s house owners, whom he had by no means met (the lease had been negotiated by way of a dealer), his relative was capable of make the introductions. Another de La Rochefoucauld, who occurred to work at the Louvre, received a advice for an artwork historian: Stephane Pinta of the Cabinet Turquin, an skilled in old-master work.

Mr. Pinta decided that the portray was an oil on canvas created in 1674 by Arnould de Vuez, a painter who labored with Charles Le Brun, the first painter to Louis XIV and designer of interiors of the Château de Versailles. After working with Le Brun, de Vuez, who was identified for getting concerned in duels of honor, was pressured to flee France and ended up in Constantinople.

Mr. Pinta traced the portray to a plate that was reproduced in the 1900 guide “Odyssey of an Ambassador: The Travels of the Marquis de Nointel, 1670-1680” by Albert Vandal, which advised the story of the travels of Charles-Marie-François Olier, Marquis de Nointel et d’Angervilliers, Louis XIV’s ambassador to the Ottoman Court. On Page 129, there’s a rotogravure of an paintings depicting the Marquis de Nointel arriving in Jerusalem with nice pomp and circumstance — the portray on the wall.

But the way it ended up glued to that wall, nobody knew, nor why it was lined up. There was hypothesis that perhaps it occurred throughout World War II, given the setting. It may very well be “a fog-of-war issue,” Mr. Bolen stated.

What everybody did know was that it could be harmful to maneuver due to how the portray had been connected to wall: backed by gauze and glued on. And, Mr. Bolen stated, his spouse, Eliza, advised him, “If you move that painting, you will have 100 years of bad luck.” He thought she was in all probability proper.

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