Romaine Brooks | portraits

It’s not that Romaine Brooks’ portraits didn’t, as Truman Capote put it, represent “the all-time ultimate gallery of all the famous dykes from 1880 to 1935 or thereabouts”. They did, but there was a lot more besides that going on. The other oft-heard quote about Brooks (who died on this day in 1970), Robert de Montesquiou’s description of her as “thief of souls”, is a far better assessment. In her signature muted palette, she renders her subjects against sombre backdrops, sometimes with nothing more than a totemic animal for company, often revealing far more of themselves than they might care to. Much more on Brooks here.

Gabriele d'Annunzio

Gabriele d’Annunzio

Jean Cocteau

Jean Cocteau

La Marquise Casati

La Marquise Casati

Madame Errázuriz

Madame Errázuriz

Natalie Barney

Natalie Barney

Peter, A young English girl (Gluck)

Peter, A young English girl (Gluck)

Renata Borgatti

Renata Borgatti

Self portrait

Self portrait

Elisabeth de Gramont

Elisabeth de Gramont

Elsie de Wolfe

Elsie de Wolfe

Further reading
Grey eminence, Salon queen, A Casati picture gallery, Romaine Brooks | drawings, The Other Amazon, Circles: Natalie Clifford Barney, Wild hearts at midnight (Romaine Brooks, plus Natalie Barney)
Death becomes her, Phantom of the empire, World Famous Aerial Queen, Berenice Abbott | portraits, Dress-down Friday: Barbette, Circles: Ludwig II/Sissi, Jacques-Émile Blanche | portraits, Circles: Erika and Klaus Mann, Pearls: Jean Cocteau, The ghosts of Versailles (Jean Cocteau)
Dress-down Friday: Eugenia Errázuriz
Places: Vittorialie degli italiani, D’Annunzio’s Cave,  Places: Palais Rose, Le Vésinet, Dress-down Friday: Gabriele d’Annunzio (Gabriele d’Annunzio)
The countess in the afterlife, A Casati family tree, A Casati picture gallery, Casati continues to captivate…, Strange Flowers guide to London: part 3, Requiem for a Marchesa, Dress-down Friday: Marchesa Casati (Marchesa Casati)

6 comments

  1. So nice of you to feature my girl. She would have been pleased. She said the artist is a creative dreamer! And she proved it with her art. Thank you!

  2. thombeau

    She really was a wonderful painter. Quite underrated!

  3. Pingback: Places: Casa Grande | Strange Flowers

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