Oct 28, 2012

Tamara de Lempicka. The Art Déco painter and extraordinary woman

Tamara was one of the greatest artists of 20th Century. She was a Polish aristocrat, but she spent all her life living in different countries like Russia, France, US and Mexico.


Everywhere she lived she was a true star and she was named recently in one the books: "The first woman artist to be a glamour star". She was also very controversial, bisexual, very beautiful and an elegant woman, who loved the bohemian life and was the socialite of every elite salon.

Apart from her exciting social life she was mostly fashionable a portrait painter. Her paintings were post-cubism, built from simple shapes, but very classy. She was inspired by the art of great Italian renaissance artists and by Albrecht Durer.


She used bright colours and plenty of light. Characters on her paintings had simple shapes and very often in complicated poses. Definitely portraits of women, which she painted a lot and made her famous. Women that she captured were always very fashionable, sophisticated, modern, elegant and often...nude. The real Femme fatale of the epoque that she lived in.

Tamara at her Atelier

Self-Portrait in the Green Bugatti, 1925

This is one of the most famous painting with exciting story behind the scene. She was in Monte-Carlo when someone left her a note that they would like to meet her in Nice. This mystery person was no one else than the editor of German magazine "Die Dame". She was amazed with Tamara who wore cloths in the same colour as her yellow and black Renault. She asked Tamara to paint herself and she published this portrait on the magazine's cover in July 1929.

Lempicka made few changes in her appearance. She painted herself in Bugatti, not in Renault, because it was the most modern car that time. The car wasn't yellow, but it was green because it was Tamara's favourite colour. She wore a helmet, leather gloves and a large scarf.
Her eyes are lightly closed and her look is as cold as ice; the only bright part of the painting is her extremely red lips.
This painting was the symbol and manifest of Art Déco and 1920's.

Some other painings of Tamara de Lempicka:

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