Madame X (Madame Pierre Gautreau) by J.S. Sargent
Virginie was painted by Sargent when she was 25. The portrait was ill received, strangely, depicting her as she was turned out to be scandalous. The lower left of the canvas shows Sargent's usual light gray priming.
detail, hand holding fan, careful edge control hard~blur, the ring is depicted with one impasto touch, crazy crackle
Virgine, 7 years later, painted by Gustave Claude Etienne Courtois (1853-1923)
Fashions having changed, Courtois' canvas was well received.
Premier coup (loose window-shading) and gratuitous pentimenti aside, Sargent would rely on preliminary drawings, no matter how cursory, for planning and capturing the essence.
Thanks for the artifacting, blogger. Sargent painting via http://tinyurl.com/Sarge-MAD-X-jpeg or http://rapidshare.com/files/299661998/Sargent_Madame_X.jpg