Romaine Brooks met Rubenstein in 1911 after her first performance in Le Martyre de Saint-Sébastien. Rubinstein fell deeply in love and she wanted to buy a farm in the country where they would live together, but Romaine was not interested in isolating herself in the country.
Rubinstein was Brooks favorite model, with her androgynous beauty. Brooks painted a series of nude paintings of Rubenstein which were extremely controversial at their time, especially because they were done by a female artist. The couple split in 1914. I write about it in my book.
What was the allure that Ida held for Romaine? Brooks summed it up far better than I could.
”It was Ida Rubinstein‘s elusive quality that fascinated. She expressed an inner self that had no particular denomination. Her beauty belonged to those mental images that demand manifestation, and whatever period she represented she became its image. In reality she was the crystallization of a poet’s image, a painter’s vision, and as such she possessed further significance … It was her gift for impersonating the beauty of every époque, that marked Ida Rubinstein as unique.”