Self Portraits: Romaine Brooks

Self Portrait 46 1/4 x 26 7/8 in. oil on canvas 1923

Sarah Gilley has asked that we look at this self portrait by Romaine Brooks, saying:
That direct gaze, those subtle grays, something slightly sinister yet alluring...just the kind of painting that captured my imagination as a youthful visitor to the Smithsonian decades ago.
Romaine Brooks (1874- 1970) was independently wealthy, so while she focused exclusively on portraiture she didn't have to rely on commissioned work.  Her work is dark in tone and has a sort of harsh honesty, partially as a result of her unhappy childhood.


  1. I doubt her unhappy childhood really accounts for the look of this "Dandy" inspired portrait although it contributes to her portrayal as a whole. Of interest to readers of this blog may be the photographs by Man-Ray take just two years after the completion of this Self-Portrait that I will reproduce in my forthcoming book on Brooks: All or Nothing: The Many Masks of Romaine Brooks-U of Wisconsin Press Fall 2013

    1. I've looked up your book, and believe the author is Irene Javors, correct? Thanks for your input, Irene!


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