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Publisher's Summary

Even before John Singer Sargent painted her portrait, Virginie Gautreau's reputation for promiscuity and showy self-display made her the subject of vicious Paris gossip. In this remarkable novel, the author tells Virginie's story, drawing on the sketchy facts of the notorious beauty's life to recreate her tempestuous personality, the captivating milieu of Belle Epoch Paris, and the struggle between artist and model to control the painting that would change their lives and affect the course of art history.
©2003 Gioia Diliberto (P)2003 Blackstone Audiobooks
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Critic Reviews

"Lively and provocative." (Booklist) "This fast scroll through history against a backdrop of parties, salons, operas, artists' studios, and sexual escapades is inviting for its wealth of well-researched period details." (Publishers Weekly) "A compelling novel....Diliberto's writing brings Virginie to life in a way that Sargent's portrait does not." (Library Journal)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Jennifer L. Richardson on 08-06-05

Great fun!

I really enjoyed this book. It moved along well and kept my interest better than most. The narrorator's voice is a little fussy at times but it doesn't interfere too much. It really made me see John Singer Sargent's portraits in a more intimate way. As an Art Historian, I always cringe just a little at fictional interpretations of artists and their subjects since people often just accept it as truth. Thankfully there is a short but straightforward bio of Madame X at the end to clear up any misconceptions though after such a convincing story it is hard to forget the imagined details.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Aaron Elliott on 06-10-07

Falls Short of Earring's Passion

I was delightfully surprised with this book. Very entertaining and engaging. It's wants to be like Girl with a Pearl Earring...it falls short of it's passion and release. The Epilogue is the most interesting part of the book. The reader does a very good job and has many voices she has to perform. A quick easy read.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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