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Le Duc Uberto Strozzi

1961 Romaine Brooks Born: Rome, Italy 1874 Died: Nice, France 1970 oil on canvas 45 3/8 x 39 1/4 in. (115.2 x 99.8 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the artist 1968.18.7 Not currently on view


Exhibition Label

Brooks met Uberto Strozzi, a descendant of the noble Renaissance Florentine family of art collectors and patrons, while living in Italy during World War II. In 1961, at the age of eighty-seven, Brooks returned to painting after nearly thirty years to produce this final portrait of her longtime friend. The simple, monumental composition of the sitter in profile view, the nuanced gray tonalities, and delicately layered paint continue the artist's lifelong commitment to creating strong and quietly elegant portraits in a spare visual style. The sketchiness of the surface, the duke's slightly slumped pose, and the blurriness of his expression suggest a poignant mood of faded privilege, remembrance, and old age.

The Art of Romaine Brooks, 2016

Keywords

Occupation - other - aristocrat

Portrait male - Strozzi, Uberto

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas