Smithsonian Collections

Renata Borgatti, Au Piano

Image for Renata Borgatti, Au Piano
Data Source
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Exhibition Label
Renata Borgatti, au Piano marked an important transition for Brooks. It is the earliest painting in which an identified female sitter displays an androgynous style that deliberately subverts gender norms and so inaugurates the artist's exploration of heroic lesbian identity. Borgatti was a professional pianist with whom Brooks began a brief affair while living on the island of Capri. Here Brooks returned to the theme she explored in Le Piano, but now presented woman as the producer rather than consumer of musical artistry.
The Art of Romaine Brooks, 2016
Artist
Romaine Brooks, born Rome, Italy 1874-died Nice, France 1970
Sitter
Renata Borgatti
Date
1920
Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist
Medium
oil on canvas
Dimensions
55 7/8 x 74 1/4 in. (141.8 x 188.7 cm.)
Type
Painting
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Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department
Painting and Sculpture
Object number
1968.18.13
Topic
Performing arts\music\piano
Portrait female