Every time I paint a portrait I lose a friend.
--John Singer Sargent
In the summer of 1883, John Singer Sargent painted a portrait of Madame Pierre Gautreau, the beautiful Parisian socialite and American expatriate. His studies reveal his penchant for her profile, and depict one strap of her dress loosely off-shoulder. The portrait was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1884, and almost immediately caused an uproar. French society was offended by the painting's overt sexual suggestiveness; the revealing gown, the confident stance, the lazy strap that implied wanton freedom. Sargent defended his artwork, but took his canvas back to his studio and altered the strap. The original version is preserved in a photograph taken at the Paris Salon. Madame X (as she is known), resides in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Sargent considered the painting to be his finest work.