At Large  November 8, 2018  Jennifer Dasal

The ArtCurious Podcast: Sargent's "Madame X"

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

John Singer Sargent, Madame X (Madame Pierre Gautreau) (Detail), 1883–84, Oil on canvas, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

The ArtCurious Podcast, Episode #40ArtCurious Logo

Shock Art: Sargent's Madame X 

Works that we take for granted today as masterpieces, or as epitomes of the finest of fine art, could also have been considered ugly, of poor quality, or just bad when they were first made. With the passage of time comes a calm and an acceptance. But that doesn’t change the fact that there are many works peppered throughout art history that were straight-up shocking to the public when they were first presented decades, or even hundreds of years ago.

Today's work of "shock art:" Sargent's Madame X.

About the Author

Jennifer Dasal

Jennifer Dasal is a contemporary arts curator with nearly twenty years of art-historical studies and experience.