Modern Eden

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Madame X: “Virginie Gautreau as a Young Woman”
Michael Ryan


16 x 20 inches
© 2012
Oil on Board, Framed

Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau (Madame X) - (1859-1915)Gautreau was a Parisian socialite, artists’ model and an American expatriate. She became notorious in Parisian high society for her beauty and rumored infidelities. She wore lavender powder and prided herself on her appearance. She posed for paintings by several noted 19th-century painters, including Gustave Courtois and Antonio de La Gandara, and most famously was the model for John Singer Sargent’s “Portrait of Madame X,” which created a cultural scandal when it was exhibited in 1884 at the Paris Salon. The scandal caused Virginie to retire from society. 

Michael Ryan creates allegorical images rich in symbolism, dealing with the human condition, society, and the world that surrounds him. Ryan expertly blends his long developed traditional painting techniques with ideas and subjects that are often other-worldly. Michael’s work shows his constant fortitude by alternating from bold strokes to delicate brushwork. His work is deeply psychological, each painting is a glimpse at a graceful and interrupted moment that tells a story through it’s subtle nuances. Michael Ryan has been in numerous publications (Spectrum 14, Wizards of the Coast, White Wolf Studios and Strange Horizons) and has shown his work as well throughout the United States. He currently resides in Seattle, WA

Madame X: “Virginie Gautreau as a Young Woman”

Michael Ryan

  • 16 x 20 inches
  • © 2012
  • Oil on Board, Framed

Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau (Madame X) - (1859-1915)

Gautreau was a Parisian socialite, artists’ model and an American expatriate. She became notorious in Parisian high society for her beauty and rumored infidelities. She wore lavender powder and prided herself on her appearance. She posed for paintings by several noted 19th-century painters, including Gustave Courtois and Antonio de La Gandara, and most famously was the model for John Singer Sargent’s “Portrait of Madame X,” which created a cultural scandal when it was exhibited in 1884 at the Paris Salon. The scandal caused Virginie to retire from society.

Michael Ryan creates allegorical images rich in symbolism, dealing with the human condition, society, and the world that surrounds him. Ryan expertly blends his long developed traditional painting techniques with ideas and subjects that are often other-worldly. Michael’s work shows his constant fortitude by alternating from bold strokes to delicate brushwork. His work is deeply psychological, each painting is a glimpse at a graceful and interrupted moment that tells a story through it’s subtle nuances. Michael Ryan has been in numerous publications (Spectrum 14, Wizards of the Coast, White Wolf Studios and Strange Horizons) and has shown his work as well throughout the United States. He currently resides in Seattle, WA