Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mme. X

When Madame X was shown at the Salon of 1884, it became instantly a salacious painting and a scandal in French society as a result of  the sexual suggestiveness of her pose and pail pasty color of her skin against the dark contrast of her gown. 'Madame X' was actually Mme. Pierre Gautreau (1859-1915). Gautreau represented the parisienne, a new type of Frenchwoman recognized for her sophistication. Consequently, her reputation was destroyed after the painting's debut.

On Display at the MET

Madame X 
John Singer Sargent -- American painter 
Metropolitan Museum, New York
Oil on canvas

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