Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Two Extraordinary Photographs

Two extraordinary photographs, indeed.  Lucky enough to snag them last month off Elysium Books, my favorite website for old gay-related antiquarian books and ephemera.  Both show the studio of Romaine Brooks in Nice in the late 1960s.  Paul Kehren was the photographer.

You can see Romaine (1874-1970) sitting jauntily enough in the top one, next to a breathtaking sample of her portraits--including her self-portrait in top hat, and in the background, her very comical image of Una Troubridge, lover of Radclyffe Hall.  (Troubridge shown with monocle and dachshunds.)

According to the biographies--Diana Souhami's book about her and her lifelong lover/companion, Natalie Clifford Barney is the best--Brooks was a fairly odious misery-guts.  The photographer here, however, seems to have caught her on a relatively good day. 

The images, while a little beaten up, have the most beautiful color-processing.