All posts tagged: Madame X

The “Madame X” Scandal

Are you curious to know the story of Madame X? The story of the dazzling parisienne beauty who was banished from the glamorous Third Republic society into oblivion? Her name was Virginie Amelie Gantreau and she was only 23 years old when John Singer Sargent painted the portrait that would change everything. Paris in the late 1870’s was filled with sophisticated French beauties whose breathtaking looks were heard of everywhere because that is what they lived off. These “it girls” dominated the social scene, lived for fashion and fascinated young artists who were obsessed with capturing their beauty. In the case of Amelie Gantreau, “every artist wanted to make her in marble or paint,” said Edward Simmons, an American student living in Paris at the time. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1859, Amelie moved to Paris with her mother when she was just 8 years old as her father had died several years before from a wound received in battle during the American Civil War. Soon mother and daughter ascended Paris’ social scene and when Amelie was …