Born in Italy within a wealthy American family, Beatrice Romaine Goddard moved back to New York with her unstable mother and abandoned by her father, later describing herself as having been a 'chlid-martyr'. In 1893, Beatrice Goddard left her family and settled in Paris before she studied art in Rome and spent time on the island of Capri. In 1902, she inherited from her family's estate which made her independent financially and then married, in 1903, her homosexual friend John Ellingham Brooks while she was herself a notorious lesbian. While Paris art scene developed itself in bohemian areas such as Montparnasse and Montmartre, Romaine Brooks chose to establish herself in the chic 16th district where she painted the portraits of the elite including her lovers the Princess de Polignac and Ida Rubinstein, in a Symbolist style diffused with a Whistler-like palette that denied the contemporary avant-garde movements. Romaine Brooks greatly assumed her individuality and homosexuality, strolling around with her very short hair and clad in her signature men's clothing.