Azalées Blanches (White Azaleas)

  • Romaine Brooks, Azalées Blanches (White Azaleas), 1910, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist, 1966.49.5

Exhibition Label

Azalées Blanches was one of Brooks's first paintings of the female nude and the earliest in which she presented an openly erotic figure. The female nude was a ubiquitous subject for Brooks's male contemporaries, but in 1910 a female artist's depiction of the theme was relatively unusual. Brooks's inclusion of this frankly sexual work in her debut exhibition at Durand-Ruel Gallery in Paris was a provocative gesture. Referring to this moment in her unpublished memoir, Brooks wrote, "I grasped every occasion no matter how small, to assert my independence of views." Audience members also recognized Brooks's challenge; a reviewer compared it to Édouard Manet's iconic modern nude Olympia (1863).

The Art of Romaine Brooks, 2016

Azalées Blanches (White Azaleas)
On View
Not on view.
59 1/2 x 107 in. (151.1 x 271.7 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the artist

Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Architecture Interior – domestic – house
  • Object – flower – azalea
  • Figure female – nude
  • Figure female – full length
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More from artist

ca. 1914
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exhibited 1910
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