Romaine Brooks, Femme avec des fleurs
A woman is gracefully scattering flowers of a multitude of colors and shapes. They seem to be created and falling off from her right hand. The tamed flowers are spread in a sinuous line on the woman’s black cape, but not on the lawn. What is happening is unusual and surreal yet the lady seems uninterested and fatigued. There’s an opposition between the extraordinary phenomenon she is producing and the expression on the face.
At her feet, a couple of white daisies are sitting still and contemplating the scene. As our eyes move up the painting, the lawn turns even more pale than it was at the bottom. In fact, it ends up looking foggy and blurry. The same happens with the woman’s body. Her body is luminous and bright but the light seems to have forgotten to light up her face. It’s invaded with grey tones.
On the right side of the painting, there’s a tall skinny tree with thin branches. An animal is running away from the canvas. It is white and has a pale frail body. It mirrors the body of the woman. In the middle, a grayish serpentine road leading to a unknown and far away village or town imitates the shape of the flowers. The 3 bushes far away from the woman reflect the motion of her hair: a string of hair, her head and another string of hair.
A lot of the elements in this picture create symmetry and are meant to exist in order to balance the scene.
Back to the woman. The movement of her right foot describes a motion. She is probably walking in slow motion. Where is she from? Why is she scattering flowers so? Why doesn’t she look more content?
As if she were mourning the loss of a loved one, the lady is spreading her sorrow on herself. The fact that the flowers are landing on her own cape is meaningful. What is beautiful is the depiction of her troubles. She is watching her sadness drip from herself. She is a queen wearing a silver crown, asking for nothing but for tranquility to express her deepest emotions.