Obelisk Art History
Romaine Brooks

La France Croisee

La France Croisee, Romaine Brooks
La France Croisee, zoomed in
116.2 cmLa France Croisee scale comparison85.0 cm
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La France Croisee is a Symbolist Oil on Canvas Painting created by Romaine Brooks in 1914. It lives at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in the United States. The image is in the Public Domain, and tagged Women. Download

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“Have they hoisted the acrid sponge on the tip of the lance; Against her beauteous mouth elated with the sacrament: The cross without Christ, who suffers above her breast; Is nought but the double wound born in silence.” [2]

That is Gabriele dAnnunzio’s description of this brooding portrait by Romaine Brooks, a caption displayed alongside the work during it’s first display in a Paris gallery. The painting transfigures Ida Rubinstein, the Russian ballet dancer and Brooks’s lover at the time, in to a personification of France, behind her burns the Belgian city of Ypres, the site of a brutal battle during World War I.

Reed Enger, "La France Croisee," in Obelisk Art History, Published February 25, 2016; last modified May 19, 2021, http://arthistoryproject.com/artists/romaine-brooks/la-france-croisee/.

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