Social endeavors and their acceptance levels


I have seen the “Portrait of Madame Charles Max” painted by Boldini Giovanni exposed on two different occasions, but each time it gave me a different feel for that gracious and fluid move as she tries to hold on her dress. Her refined figure, gentle look gives us retrospection into what was happening during 19th -20th century in the world. It was a time when women were taking the world stage and claiming to be treated with respect, as equal partners.


Madame Charles Max was in reality a very rich and modern lady who lived in France around 1896 when the painting was done. Was the artist attracted to her because she was rich, beautiful and attended the social gatherings? Most likely so, because the painters wanted to capture not only the social changes, but they also wanted through portraits to improve the composition.

By comparison when John Singer Sargent exposed his best portrait of Madame X ( in Paris , he was prompted to move to London because the portrait was too advanced even for the French society. Would he have been recognized for his portrait, most likely the society evolution have had happened sooner.

Obviously, by comparing similar artists and their paintings we should try to understand the evolution of art driven by society. Society is the one that recognizes an artist but in many cases, if the society has not been advanced, their acceptance level is low near to none.

What we also need to ask ourselves is the reactions that we have when changes are not as visible at first through art because, in many cases, the society did not have enough time to develop them such that the progress is fully comprehended and accepted.

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