Sargent admired the unusual beauty of American socialite Virginie Avegno Gautreau and convinced her to pose for a portrait—a calculated bid for celebrity that implicated both artist and sitter. Sargent captured Gautreau’s distinctive self-fashioning in the iconic portrait now known as Madame X, which famously caused an uproar when it was first exhibited in Paris in 1884. Nearly 140 years later the portrait continues to captivate. Look closely at the relationship between Sargent and Gautreau while considering the social and artistic milieu that fueled the notorious scandal and its impact on the artist’s career and sitter’s reputation.
Stephanie Herdrich, associate curator of American Painting and Sculpture, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Purchase a ticket package for the full five-session “Fashioned by Sargent” course. Please note that this option is not available after the date of the first session.
Assistive listening system
To order tickets by phone, call 1-800-440-6975 ($6 processing fee applies); to order in person, visit any MFA ticket desk.
The livestream ticket gives access to a live feed of the event that can be watched remotely. You must be logged in to the account used to purchase the ticket in order to access the livestream on the Video Content page. Please log in at least 5 minutes before the start of the event to test your connection.
Livestream ticket holders must watch the event live; there is no recording of the event available for viewing at a later time.