In comparing these two images, we are able to gain some insight into how Romaine Brooks projected her image as an artist to the public. Both show a savvy individual who understood she was creating a “performative” self for public consumption as a painter. What is really interesting is that — somehow — she was always able within this context to convey something of her real character and personality.
What do you see in the subtle differences between how Brooks presented herself in her iconic self portrait and how Man-Ray sees her? I have my own ideas. You will soon be able to read them in my forthcoming book.