“La Mode au Théatre.” La Vie Moderne 6 (February 10, 1883): 89. It has even inspired two historical novelizations, Strapless: John Singer Sargent and the Fall of Madame X by Deborah Davis and I am Madame X by Gioia Dilberto (both 2004). Gautreau was an extremely fashionable person, as Deborah Davis recounts in Strapless: “L’Événement reported her appearance in a dress of salmon-colored velvet…. Her only adornments are the dress’s jeweled shoulder straps, her gold wedding band, and in her hair a diamond crescent, likely meant to evoke Diana, goddess of the hunt (Ormond 1998). The portrait’s poor reception at the 1884 Paris Salon soon prompted Sargent to leave France to seek clients instead in England, where he found great success. John Singer Sargent in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/12127, http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T076043, http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/sarg/hd_sarg.htm, 1568 – Bernardino Campi, Portrait of a Woman, 1791 – Rose Adélaïde Ducreux, Self-Portrait with a Harp, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, Herdrich, Stephanie L., and H. Barbara Weinberg. Evening dress, ca. Charlize Theron, at 2014 Oscars. And the scandal caused Gautreau to retire from society for some time. Rochas, Fall/Winter 2005. The dress design was undoubtedly a unique one created for Madame Gautreau herself, but by this period some of the sewing could have been done on machine. By 1891, Gautreau had clearly changed her mind about the portrait as she commissioned a similar one from French artist Gustave Courtois that featured the same profile pose and daringly dropped shoulder strap (Fig. 4) and damaged Gautreau’s reputation. Ormond, Richard, and Elaine Kilmurray. Photograph of Madame X as exhibited at the 1884 Salon. 13 – Les Modes Parisiennes (April 1, 1881), pl. Private Collection. Vogue, "Portraits of a Lady," vol. Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress, Sidlauskas, Susan. 1 - Nadar [Gaspard-Félix Tournachon] (French, 1820-1910). She was born Virginie Amélie Avegno, the daughter of white Creole parents in New Orleans. 10 - Gustave Courtois (French, 1852-1923). It created a social scandal when shown at the Paris Salon. Privacy Policy (function (w,d) {var loader = function () {var s = d.createElement("script"), tag = d.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.src="https://cdn.iubenda.com/iubenda.js"; tag.parentNode.insertBefore(s,tag);}; if(w.addEventListener){w.addEventListener("load", loader, false);}else if(w.attachEvent){w.attachEvent("onload", loader);}else{w.onload = loader;}})(window, document); The Fashion History Timeline is a project by FIT’s History of Art Department. “. She has held fellowships at the Met’s Costume Institute, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and Northwestern’s Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art. She had a sister, Valentine, who died of yellow fever. Her apparent lack of underwear and daringly dropped shoulder strap (later repainted by Sargent) in combination with her heavy makeup and seeming indifference to the viewer provoked scandal when the work was first exhibited in the 1884 Paris Salon. Source: Amazon, Fig. 5 - Unidentified photographer. Mrs. Harry Vane Milbank (née Alice Sidonie Vandenburg), 1883-1884. 1883. She is most widely known as the subject of John Singer Sargent's painting Portrait of Madame X (1884). Sargent’s contemporaneous portrait of Mrs. Alice Milbank (Fig. 1885. Pencil on paper; 29.2 x 21 cm (11.5 x 8.25 in). Paris: Musée du Petit Palais. The lady whose portrait caused such a stir was Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau. 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Her fa­ther Ana­tole Avegno served as a major in the Con­fed­er­at… In Sargent’s most famous portrait, Virginie Gautreau, a celebrated American beauty living in Paris, dresses in daring advance of fashion–the unadorned simplicity of the dress makes it appear modern even today. Sargent, anxious to popularize himself by capitalizing on Virginie's notorious reputation, asked Dr. Pozzi (whom he had painted in a papal-red robe) to introduce him to Virginie, which the doctor did, resulting in Sargent's being invited to the Gautreaus' Brittany chateau, Les Chênes, where Sargent produced some 30 studies of her in pencil, watercolor and oil. Gautreau's mother implored Sargent to remove the portrait from the Salon, but the most he would do was change the title to "Portrait of Madame X," by which it has ever since been known. FIg. Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau (née Avegno, 29 January 1859[1] – 25 July 1915) was born in New Orleans but grew up from the age of eight in France, where she became a Parisian socialite known for her beauty. Gautreau died in Cannes on 25 July 1915. In 1867, when Virginia was eight years old, her widowed mother moved with her to France. 20 - Russell Connor (American). Oil on canvas; 132.5 x 85 cm. Source: Vogue Archive (subscription required), Fig. Historical Person Search Search Search Results Results Virginie Amelie Avegno (1859 - 1915) Try FREE for 14 days Try FREE for 14 days How do we create a person’s profile? Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Jean-Marie Eveillard. “La Mode au Théatre.”. Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fig. John Singer Sargent in his studio, ca. 15 - Deborah Davis. She occasionally posed as a model for notable artists. In a later column, a different columnist praised the “superb and magisterial toilette in black velvet, the whole art of which is its magnificent simplicity,” (Fig. Vogue and Julianne Moore (photographed by Peter Lindbergh in 2008 – Fig. 16 - Steven Meisel (American, 1954-). Source: Author. Private Collection. Notably neither version includes the jeweled straps (fallen or otherwise). 7, 8) depict her in a similar low bodice and a contemporaneous dress in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum by Hoschedé Rebours (Fig. One French critic wrote that if one stood before the portrait during its exhibition in the Salon, one "would hear every curseword in the French language." Photograph by Jordan Strauss, Invision/AP. Source: Russell Connor. While every attempt at accuracy has been made, the Timeline is a work in progress. Le Figaro raved about her dress of red velvet with a bodice of white satin, as did La Gazette Rose about her white satin dress with pearl netting…. Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau (née Avegno, 29 January 1859 – 25 July 1915) was born in New Orleans but grew up from the age of eight in France, where she became a Parisian socialite known for her beauty. She also attracted much amorous attention that she did not discourage, and her extramarital affairs were so well known that they became the subject of tabloid scandal sheets and gossip handbills. New York: Scribner, 2004. Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau (January 29, 1859 [1] –July 25, 1915) was born in New Orleans but grew up from the age of eight in France, where she became a Parisian socialite known for her beauty. She occasionally posed as a model for notable artists. 6 - John Singer Sargent (American, 1856-1925). Virginie Amélie Avegno was born in New Orleans in January 1859. Her grandmother was Virginie de Ternant, founder of the plantation; Louisiana senator and judge Charles Parlange was her maternal uncle. Her work has been generously supported by grants and fellowships from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Getty, Kress and Mellon Foundations. Her father Anatole Avegno served as a major in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War; he died in 1862 in the Battle of Shiloh. She married Pierre Gautreau, a French banker and shipping magnate. Strapless: John Singer Sargent and the Fall of Madame X, 2004.