John Singer Sargent (1865-1925) in his Paris studio with his famous painting Madame X, a portrait of Madame Pierre Gautreau. Photographer unknown.

Madame X created a scandal at the Salon of 1884. French society was shocked by her deathly white pallor, hennaed hair, and provocative dress.

Sargent kept the painting in his Paris studio, and later in his London studio. More than 20 years after the Salon, he exhibited Madame X in London, Berlin, Rome and San Francisco, and finally sold it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1916.

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