"John S. Sargent" by Henry James  
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Harper's Magazine, Ocober,1887 (pp. 683-691)
(page 8 of 9)

690                                            HARPER’S NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE. 


“THE HALL OF THE FOUR CHILDREN." —From the painting by John S. Sargent.
tertaining little annual exhibition of the “Mirlitons,” in the Place Vendome. With the exquisite modelling of its face (no one better than Mr. Sargent understands the beauty that resides in exceeding fineness) [Madame Allouard-Jouan], this head remains in my mind as a masterly rendering of the look of experience—such experience as may be attributed to a woman slightly faded and eminently sensitive and distinguished. Subject and treatment in this valuable piece are of an equal interest, and in the latter there is an element of positive sympathy which is not always in a high degree the sign of Mr. Sargent’s work.  

What shall I say of the remarkable canvas which, on the occasion of the Salon of 1884, brought the critics about our artist's ears, the already celebrated portrait of “Madame G.”[Gautreau or Madame X] It is an experiment of a highly original kind, and the painter has had in the case, in regard to what Mr. Ruskin would call the "rightness” of his attempt, the courage of his opinion. A beauty of beauties, according to Parisian fame, the lady stands upright beside a table on which her right arm rests, with her body almost fronting the spectator, and her face in complete profile. She wears an entirely sleeveless dress of black satin, against which her admirable left arm detaches itself; the line of her harmonious profile has a sharpness which Mr. Sargent does not always seek, and the crescent of Diana, an ornament in dianionds, rests on her exquisite head. This 

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Madame Allouard-Jouan
c. 1882

Madame X  



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