Musée du Vexin Français by Pierre Marcel on Flickr.

Nighthawks - Edward Hopper, 1942

Laura Makabresku.

“I’ve been forty years discovering that the queen of all colors is black.”  Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Never have their been words more true. I have a thing for black. No, I don’t mean gothic-black, I mean Parisian-black.

Seated Male Nude Holding A Staff - Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, mid to late 18th century

Gustav Klimt, Women Friends

“Undercover Guru” by M.A. Wakeley

(via gasstation)
Kenichi Hoshine

Ovid Banished from Rome by Turner, 1838, oil on canvas, private collection

The Wyndham Sisters - John Singer Sargent, 1899

Hearts are Trumps - John Everett MIllais, not dated

Madame X - John Singer Sargent, 1884
There are 8 million and one things I could say about this painting, but I’ll keep my remarks brief. The woman in the painting is Virginie Gautreau. Originally an American who moved to Paris, Gautreau was groomed by her mother to take a prominent position in society as a “professional beauty.” Sargent approached Gautreau to pose for him, wanting to pay homage to her beauty. This portrait was shown in the Salon of 1884 to widespread criticism and ridicule, for both Sargent and Gautreau. Before this work was released, Sargent had been gaining momentum in Paris as a portrait painter, but after heavy criticism, he relocated to London, where it took a decade to rebuild his career. Gautreau was ridiculed so much that she withdrew from society and became a recluse.
As for the painting itself, one of the many unsettling aspects for critics at the time was that Gautreau is pictured as an erotic yet resistant woman. The fantasy in art history is in the representation of women as accessible and available to the male viewer. However, the way Sargent presents Gautreau resists that. Her face in profile looks away from the viewer; yet, her body is exposed and presented to us as an object of desire, but not the “come hither” kind. Sargent challenges the presumed passivity of posing, because her body, but not her gaze, looks back at the viewer.