Davis is clearly not a rigorous historian (or a particularly disciplined writer), but in this book she takes a very interesting real-life story and writes a compelling book. It's a quick read-- I'd love to see a more thorough and scholarly treatment...
I was unimpressed at the level of scholarship involved in this biography, though it was an easy read. Don't expect anything more than the surface of the story.
This is a well written historical work about the woman that was the model for John Singer Sargent's painting. It covers the art culture of 1880-1900 in France, the life of Sargent, the culture of France, and the life of this woman. It is all encompassing and so very readable.
I found this book very interesting and enjoyed it very much. It was enlightening to look back into the 1880's and see what was considered scandalous in those times. I always enjoyed art but in reading how and what goes on in the life of an artist was very informative.
One of the best books I've read this year!!
The subject of John Singer Sargent's most famous painting was twenty-three-year-old New Orleans Creole Virginie Gautreau, who moved to Paris and quickly became the "it girl" of her day. A relative unknown at the time, Sargent won the commission to paint her; the two must have recognized in each other a like-minded hunger for fame.
Unveiled at the 1884 Paris Salon, Gautreau's portrait generated the attention she craved-but it led to infamy rather than stardom. Sargent had painted one strap of Gautreau's dress dangling from her shoulder, suggesting either the prelude to or the aftermath of sex. Her reputation irreparably damaged, Gautreau retired from public life, destroying all the mirrors in her home.
Drawing on documents from private collections and other previously unexamined materials, and featuring a cast of characters including Oscar Wilde and Richard Wagner, Strapless is a tale of art and celebrity, obsession and betrayal. AUTHORBIO: Deborah Davis is a writer and veteran film executive who has worked as story editor and analyst for Warner Bros., Columbia TriStar, Disney, Miramax, and the William Morris Agency.
About the Author
Deborah Davis is a writer and veteran film executive who has worked as a story editor and story analyst for Warner Bros., Columbia TriStar, Disney, Miramax, and the William Morris Agency. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I recently read this book for our Book Group. John Singer Sargent was a fascinating man full of talent. Reading of Madame X was interesting. I highly rec. this book.
My book club loved this book.
Reads like a Vanity Fair article...very informative and interesting. I recommend it to those interested in the Parisian art world of the mid 1800s.
John Singer Sargent painting Amelie Gautreau (from Lousiana)
must have been something like Albert Einstein interviewing Paris Hilton. Very smoothly written and fun history.