Madonna and Madame X
Today our member nycboi1981 discusses the possible connection between Madonna‘s pose and look on the poster of the film Four Rooms and in the infamously provocative painting Madame X by John
Our friend nycboi1981 writes:
“I’d like to share this essay with the folks at MTribe and thanks for always bringing us
the best insight on Madonna articles, news and analysis”.
“I brought the “Four Rooms” DVD cover and the Madame X portrait into Photoshop and laid them side by side. As it stands, I may have projected a little bit too much of what I thought I saw the other day at the
book store. They’re not alike really, at first glance. In any event… well… I DO think there is a connection. Besides,
I’m also including an article about the scandal surrounding the original painting (do you know that it practically ended the
artist’s career and the subject herself?!)
“‘When Madame X was shown at the Salon of 1884 it became instantly a salacious painting and a scandal in French society as a
result of its sexual suggestiveness of her pose and the pail pasty color of her skin. The “X” of Madame X was actually Madame
Gautreau (1859-1915) whose reputation was apparently destroyed and John left France shortly to never truly regain his former
standing as the darling of Paris.
The size of the painting is enormous, measuring 82 inches by 43 inches or nearly seven feet tall (2 meters), and with the
underlying sensuality of the painting, in the time that it was done (if it isn’t still to some degree today), almost
threatening to the viewer.
When I first read about this painting, I was struck by the notion that if the painting was so damning to her reputation, why
hadn’t Madame Gautreau nor her husband ever destroyed it; which seemed to tell me that she must have secretly loved it; but
this was not the case. The uproar over the painting, especially from her family made her hate it.”‘
” Just reading about the painting only makes M’s choice of inspiration all the more
plausible. Notice how Madonna adds an “accessory” to her wrist, bringing the sexual suggestiveness of the original painting one
step further!. One thing to note is that the painting, as we have it today, has been altered.
Apparently, one of the straps was off the shoulder, so it was changed after the disastrous exhibition, but there is a
photograph below taken before the painting was altered. By the way, I reversed the painting so that Madame X was, for the most
part, facing the same was as M is in the Four Rooms photo. Also note the contrast of Madonna’s almost pasty skin to the rest
of the actors in the photograph.”
Special thanks to nycboi1981 for sharing his thoughts with the Tribe. If you have a review you want to send us, just click here