Old Masters Reproductions by Thomas Baker

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Madame X, an oil painting by John Singer Sargent, reproduced by Thomas Baker

Thomas Baker's reproduction of John Singer Sargent's

"Madame X" (1884)

28 X 48 inches, oil on canvas

This painting is available for purchase: $6500.00

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The elegant high-society portraits of John Sargent (1856-1925) created an enduring image of the Edwardian era in Europe and America. "Madam X," done in a rich dark palette of colors, is one of Sargent's earliest and perhaps his best known portrait ("I suppose it is the best thing I have done," he once wrote late in his life). "Madam X" was Virginie Gautreau, a famous Parisian beauty who, like Sargent himself, was an expatriate American, whose mother had brought her to Paris after her father's death in the Civil War. Her mother managed to marry her off to an elderly banker, but she was widely rumored to have numerous lovers around Paris. The painting was exhibited at the Paris Salon, the annual government-sponsored art show, in 1884, and critics found it erotic and scandalous, so much so that Sargent soon thereafter abandoned his Paris studio and moved permanently to London. Sargent later repainted the fallen strap of the lady's gown back up onto her shoulder, but Thomas Baker (guided by an old photo of the painting as it was shown in the Salon) has painted it here as it was originally seen, slipped down suggestively over her arm. Baker's painting, at four feet tall, is only about half the height of Sargent's original. Life-size (or nearly so) portraits were the order of the day in Sargent's time.

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