Romaine Brooks, Peter (A Young English Girl), 1923-24

From the Smithsonian American Art Museum:

British painter Hannah Gluckstein (1895-1978) worked under the name Gluck but was known within her close circle of friends by her nickname, Peter. Gluck met artist Romaine Brooks in 1923, and the two agreed to sit for each other shortly thereafter, resulting in this portrait and an unfinished one of Brooks by Gluck. Like Brooks, Gluck frequently wore clothing inspired by men’s fashions that concealed her feminine figure. This androgynous attire was popular among upper- and upper-middle-class women at the time. It allowed them to experiment with fashion, but it also provided an outlet for lesbians, like Gluck and Brooks, to question traditional gender roles. In a 1918 letter to her brother, Gluck wrote of her new look, “I am flourishing in a new garb. Intensely exciting. Everybody likes it,” and went on to say, “I hope you will like it because I intend to wear that sort of thing always.” Here, Gluck’s striped waistcoat and silk tie, coupled with her closely cropped hair, help mask her gender, which is only confirmed with Brooks’s title.

 

Posted on March 23 2012, with 877 Notes

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    This has always been one of my favorite paintings.
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    One of my favourites by Romaine Brooks and I love Gluck
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