Tamara de Lempicka was a Polish painter known for her distinctive Art Deco style. In her self-portraits and depictions of chic figures, Lempicka simplified volume and space into tubular and crystalline forms.
“My goal is never to copy, but to create a new style, clear luminous colors and feel the elegance of the models,” she once explained.
Born Maria Górska on May 16, 1898 in Warsaw, Poland (then part of the Russian Empire) to a wealthy family, she spent much of her childhood in Switzerland and Italy where she was influenced by the works of Renaissance and Mannerist masters. Living in St.
Petersburg during the 1917 Russian Revolution, she and her husband fled to France to escape the Bolsheviks.
During the 1920s, Lempicka became an integral part of the Parisian avant-garde scene and was acquainted with Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, and André Gide.
It was here that she invented her new persona Tamara de Lempicka, while studying under both Maurice Denis and André Lhote.
In 1939, the artist fled the impending threat of World War II for the United States, settling in Los Angeles and later New York.
Though she stopped painting for a number of years, a renewed interest in her works during the mid-1960s led her to resume. Lempicka died on March 18, 1980 in Cuernavaca, Mexico.
Today, her works are held in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes in France, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., among others.
Tamara Łempicka (born Maria Górska; 16 May 1898 – 18 March 1980), also known as Tamara de Lempicka, was a Polish painter active in the 1920s and 1930s, who spent her working life in France and the United States.
She is best known for her polished Art-Deco portraits of aristocrats and the wealthy, and for her highly stylized paintings of nudes.
Born in Warsaw, Lempicka briefly moved to Saint Petersburg where she married a prominent Polish lawyer, then travelled to Paris. She studied painting with Maurice Denis and André Lhote.
Tamara De Lempicka’s style was a blend of late, refined cubism and the neoclassical style, particularly inspired by the work of Jean-Dominique Ingres.