I Am Madame X
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Date: December 2003
Duration: 10 hours 54 minutes
Madame X, John Singer Sargent’s most famous and scandalous portrait, caused an immediate furor when Sargent unveiled it at the 1884 Paris Salon. The subject’s bold pose, provocative dress, and decadent pallor shocked the public, and the critics panned the picture, smashing Sargent’s dream of a Paris career.
Even before Sargent painted her portrait, Virginie Gautreau’s reputation for promiscuity and showy self-display made her the subject of vicious Paris gossip. In this remarkable novel, the author tells Virginie’s story, drawing on the sketchy facts of the notorious beauty’s life to recreate her tempestuous personality, the captivating milieu of Belle Epoch Paris, and the struggle between artist and model to control the painting that would change their lives and affect the course of art history.
“Diliberto fills in the blanks of Virginie’s life with vivid brush strokes. What ensues is a complex and often incredibly fun portrait...[a] handsomely imagined story.”—Los Angeles Times