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 Referring to this moment in her unpublished memoir, Brooks wrote, "I grasped every occasion no matter how small, to assert my independence of views."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

Title
Azalées Blanches (White Azaleas)
Artist
Date
1910
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
59 1/2 x 107 in. (151.1 x 271.7 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the artist

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Object – flower – azalea
  • Architecture Interior – domestic – house
  • Figure female – full length
Object Number
1966.49.5
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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