John Singer Sargent’s Marketing Blunder – The Madame X Debacle

By Dan Lavie / October 8, 2016

John Singer Sargent painted his famous Madame X portrait in 1884. The marketing concept behind it was quite ingenious; the American socialite wanted to climb the social ladder and the American painter wanted to become famous. It looked like a marketing match made in heaven. The execution was perfect:  Sargent painted her in a little black number with a bare shoulder and her wedding ring on her left hand. Esthetical as well as provocative, so what could go wrong? Well,…