by Jane Snape
Tamara de Lempicka
earch for anything to do with “beauty” on the web and sadly you see references to Hollywood’s hottest stars and their beauty secrets, selftanning salons, new cosmetics that will make you look years younger. I’m hoping that this month’s theme of beauty includes none of the above.
luxury, arriving in Paris as refugees. With painting lessons from Andre Lhote and a combination of natural talent, hard work, enthusiasm and her distinctive style, she was soon showing her work at major galleries and impressive commissions followed.
Beauty is a very subjective theme; for me beauty through Art is thrilling and can be inspiring, with none more so than the work of an icon of the Art Deco period – Tamara de Lempicka (1898 – 1980).
Her success enabled her to afford the life style she had previously had; travelling abroad and staying in the best hotels with writers and artists such as Picasso. In 1925 Tamara had a successful Art Deco exhibition in Paris, but her heavy workload did not, however, impact on her social life and the scandal of her many bi-sexual love affairs was well-known. Divorced from Tadeusz, but soon married again to Baron Kuffner, they moved to New York in 1943. She continued to work, into the 1960’s although her style, now quite abstract, had changed considerably. She died in her sleep in Mexico in 1980, her paintings a legacy to enjoy.
My first introduction was a postcard I came across in the City of York Art Gallery, I found “Les deux amies”, so beautiful and evocative, I was intrigued to find out more. Knowing nothing of the artist, it was a delight to learn that the lifestyle of Lempicka was as colourful and exotic as the paintings themselves. Much of her work is now in private collections; Jack Nicholson, Madonna and Barbara Streisand owning some of her work. Analysing her work can be left to others expertise; I hope that some readers might be interested enough to seek out and enjoy the beautiful paintings she accomplished. Very briefly, born Tamara Gorska in 1898 in either Warsaw or Moscow (details appear vague) to wealthy parents, Tamara was painting her sister at the age of 12. A marriage at 18 to a handsome lawyer Taduesz Lempicki, found the couple fleeing the Russian Revolution and their life of
Published on Aug 21, 2009