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The finished portrait, which was exhibited as 'Madame X', belongs to the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and the Tate Gallery's version is a full-size sketch. The sitter was the American wife of a French banker in Paris. Sargent knew her and asked her to sit for him, and deliberately planned a sensational portrait with an unconventional pose. Her head is turned into sharp profile emphasising her nose, her right arm is twisted and her shoulders exposed.
Oil on canvas
H 206.4 x W 107.9 cm
Presented by Lord Duveen through the Art Fund 1925