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Una, Lady Troubridge

1924 Romaine Brooks Born: Rome, Italy 1874 Died: Nice, France 1970 oil on canvas 50 1/8 x 30 1/8 in. (127.3 x 76.4 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the artist 1966.49.6 Not currently on view

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Una, Lady Troubridge
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British sculptor and writer Una, Lady Troubridge (1887-1963) is best remembered for her numerous translations from French and Italian, and is credited with introducing the French novelist Colette to English readers. She also wrote a biography of her longtime partner, Marguerite "John" Radclyffe Hall, author of the 1928 classic The Well of Loneliness. In 1908, Una married Admiral Sir Ernest Thomas Troubridge, but the union ended in 1915, the same year she met Hall.

Hall introduced Troubridge to artist Romaine Brooks, who captured her in this 1924 portrait. The tailored man's morning suit conceals her feminine figure, and her pose suggests absolute control; note how Troubridge grasps one of the dog's collars. Brooks intended the portrait to be a caricature of her friend as a headstrong, demanding woman, and noted in a letter that this was "a sign of the age which may amuse future feminists."


Animal - dog - dachshund

Dress - accessory - eye wear

Occupation - other - aristocrat

Portrait female - Troubridge, Una


paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Romaine Brooks

Born: Rome, Italy 1874 Died: Nice, France 1970

More works in the collection by
Romaine Brooks