John Singer Sargent: Madame X, A Man Seated by a Stream, Boat with The Golden Sail, Robert Louis Stevenson

Madame X (1884) by John Singer Sargent (January 12, 1856 – April 14, 1925)

The original portrait which is currently in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is an imposing seven feet tall. Difficult to imagine today, but when this painting was first exhibited at the Salon in Paris in 1884 it was considered somewhat scandalous. The pose and the plunging neckline combined with the sensuality projected by the model were thought shocking. It was Singer’s personal favorite and probably his most well known work.

A Man Seated by a Stream, Val d’Aosta, Purtud (1907?) One of Sargent’s watercolors.

Boat with The Golden Sail, San Vigilio (1913) Oil on canvas. Sargent was born in Florence, Italy of American parents. While he made extended trips to the U.S. he was an avid traveler.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1885?) Sargent painted several portraits of Stevenson ( the author of Treasure Island). The one that included Stevenson’s wife is probably the most well known. Stevenson was thought of as a little eccentric, he was tall and angular, kept his hair a little longer then was thought appropriate for a gentleman of the time and usually had a cigarette in his hand. Since Stevenson’s books were and are considered so accessible the portrait made for an interesting contrast with the public’s perception of what they thought Stevenson was like.