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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

John Singer Sargent, Portrait of Madame X

John Singer Sargent, Portrait of Madame X
oil on canvas, 1884
Metropolitan Museum of Art
no copyright infringement intended

It is a study in opposition: a woman posing in a black satin dress with jeweled straps, a dress that reveals and hides at the same time; the pale flesh tone of the subject contrasts against a dark colored dress and background (wiki). The model, Mme. Amélie Gautreau, was an American living in Paris, the wife of a banker, well known for her beauty (and for her rumored infidelities, honi soit qui mal y pense).

The portrait was badly received in Paris, even considered scandalous, and the artist, very disappointed, moved then permanently to London. Actually is a very classy portrait of a typical Parisienne, i.e. a sophisticated socialite, very sure of herself and very determined in her ways.

(John Singer Sargent)



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