Many a thing has been found floating in the Seine River, but none so enchanting and mysterious as l’Inconnue de la Seine (the unknown woman of the Seine).
As it was customary for that time: “she was put on display (in the 1880s, unclaimed bodies — up to fourteen at a time — were put in a chilled room at the morgue, fronted by plate glass. It was the most popular shop window in Paris). No-one claimed her.”
As the story goes, a morgue attendant fell under the spell of this beautiful young woman who had committed suicide after her lover abandoned her. She had leapt to her death from a bridge and drowned in the Seine River.
The attendant became so obsessed with the beautiful creature he had a death mask made of her, this being something of an honor— Chopin, Napoleon, Robespierre…all had death masks made of them…
Soon her mask was not just the talk of the town but a sensation–and the recreation of her mask sat in many an art parlor or hung in bohemian salons across Paris.
She became the adoration of many via the jilt of one lover…the irony of life…
The guilty lover was never discovered and the mystery only grew with many more claims made about l’Inconnue de la Seine. I have chosen to stick to this one with its dark enrapture & endless romanticism…