Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Romaine Brooks

A happy finding, in the afterthoughts of 'Paris At Midnight'.

I was looking up links for "Paris Was a Woman" for more information on Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, and came across Romaine Brooks. I have always loved this portrait.

Romaine Brooks, born Beatrice Romaine Goddard (May 1, 1874 – December 7, 1970), was an American painter who worked mostly in Paris and Capri. She specialized in portraiture and used a subdued palette dominated by the color gray. Brooks ignored contemporary artistic trends such as Cubism and Fauvism, drawing instead on the Symbolist and Aesthetic movements of the 19th century, especially the works of James McNeill Whistler. Her subjects ranged from anonymous models to titled aristocrats. She is best known for her images of women in androgynous or masculine dress, including her self-portrait of 1923, which is her most widely reproduced work.

It would seem that "Paris Was a Woman" is on youtube in about 8 parts, so it takes a bit of persistence to get through it all. I put it on my list.

The thing about the Brooks video is that the song "The Weakness in Me" is sung by Joan Armatrading. Now there's a blast from the past!


Credit: Wikipedia


  1. What a marvellous post Leslie! I've only seen a couple of paintings by Romain Brooks, so this was a real eye opener for me. And the Joan Armatrading song was perfect. Thanks for this experience.

  2. I wasn't familiar with Romaine Brooks but enjoyed this introduction to her paintings. Of course, I immediately recognized Joan Armatrading who remains one of my favourite female artists. P.S. You're going to love the ballet(I hope) if you haven't already seen it.

  3. You know I adore Romaine Brooks. I often feature this portrait on my sidebar and even use it as an avatar. It's marvelous.

  4. Tess,
    As soon as I came across this, I thought...TESS!!! I've always admired this portrait in particular, but never knew the source. You really must see "Midnight in Paris", YOU in particular will LOVE it! It has inspired further inquiry into the Paris of the twenties for me.