At its 1884 premiere in Paris, John Singer Sargent’s painting “Madame X” had one strap seductively hanging off her shoulder. That one strap caused such a scandal that it almost ruined Sargent’s career. He repainted it due to the outrage.

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    At its 1884 premiere in Paris, John Singer Sargent’s painting “Madame X” had one strap seductively hanging off her...