Italian-born US painter. Best known for her drawings illustrating her memoirs of her nightmare youth with her mother and brother, she also achieved some success with her paintings, particularly her portraits. She was influenced by the work of James McNeill Whistler, and came to know many of the artists who came to Paris, particularly Gabriele D'Annunzio.
She was born in Rome, the child of wealthy Americans. Her mother was there because her husband had deserted her and she was seeking medical help for a mentally disturbed son. Brought to New York City, Romaine was virtually abandoned by her mother at age seven and only rejoined her in London after attending a school in New Jersey and different European boarding schools. At age 21 she went to Rome to study painting. After settling on the island of Capri, she returned to France at her brother's death in 1901; with her mother's death in 1902, Romaine became independently wealthy. She briefly married an Englishman, John Ellingham Brooks. She met the US expatriate Natalie Clifford Barney in 1915 in Paris, forming a passionate relationship that lasted over 50 years until 1969. Subsequently a recluse, she painted almost until her death.