John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)

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Portrait of Madame X, 1884

The original portrait of socialite Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau caused major controversy when exhibited in Paris. John Singer Sargent’s first painting was more sensual, with the right strap of the dress falling off her shoulder. He overpainted the shoulder strap and changed the title, but the controversy damaged his career. He eventually left Paris for England permanently.

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Study of Mme Gautreau, circa 1884
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Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth, 1889
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John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)

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Portrait of Lady Helen Vincent, 1904