When You Cannot Run, You Cannot Hide: Romaine Brooks Draws (On) the Past
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© 2016 Taylor & Francis. When a leg injury in the 1930s caused artist Romaine Brooks (1874–1970) to remain bedridden, the result was a written autobiography and a series of drawings that can also be seen as a form of parallel, although unconscious, autobiography. Presenting newly discovered archival information that substantiates rumours about Brooks’ illegitimate child, I argue that these drawings, with their themes of a haunted past, regret, motherhood, and lack of self-determination, and their uterine and foetal imagery, may be read as a new genre of non-textual autobiography having affinities with surrealism.
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