Category: portrait

Camile, 1936, Marie Laurencin

Camile, 1936, Marie Laurencin

Christina Nilsson as Ofelia by Alexandre Cab…

Christina Nilsson as Ofelia by Alexandre Cabanel – 1873

Portrait of a Woman with Cactus, 1930, Frederi…

Portrait of a Woman with Cactus, 1930, Frederick Frieseke

Study of the portrait, and the finished ‘Por…

Study of the portrait, and the finished ‘Portrait of Madame X’, 1884, by John Singer Sargent (1856-1925).

The Scandalous Portrait of Madame X

The Scandalous Portrait of Madame X

The famous ‘Portrait of Madame X’, painted by John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), is a gorgeous work of art. However, when it was displayed at the Paris Salon in 1884, it became highly controversial.

At the time, Sargent used the beautiful socialite, Madame Pierre Gautreau (1859-1915), as his model. He hoped this would garner more attention to his career. The original work was slightly different, where he “emphasized her daring personal style” by allowing a strap on her gown to slip off her shoulder. When the work was revealed, it caused an uproar. It was the model’s mother who was particularly infuriated, seeing her daughter’s portrait painted in such a provocative way. The portrait received more anger than admiration, leading to Sargent re-painting the strap and re-named it ‘Madame X’ for more mystery and modesty.

While the work and Sargent’s reputation led him to leave France, it also boosted his fame internationally. He was in hot demand for commissioned work after moving to London.

On the left, there is a copy of the original work is on display in the Tate, in Britain. The right shows how Sargent censored the portrait.

Peter Paul RubensPortrait of an African Man We…

Peter Paul Rubens

Portrait of an African Man Wearing a Turban

Netherlands (c. 1609)

Oil on
paper, laid down on panel, 74 x 59 x 7.5 cm.

Private Collection

Pretty In Pink by Emile Vernon – 1909

Pretty In Pink by Emile Vernon – 1909

Rachel Gregorrachelgregor.com/

Rachel Gregor

rachelgregor.com/

Inger in Black and Violet, 1892, Edvard Munch

Inger in Black and Violet, 1892, Edvard Munch

Jean-Marc Nattier – Madame de Maison-Rouge a…

Jean-Marc Nattier – Madame de Maison-Rouge as Diana, 1756