Tamara de Lempicka

Tamara de Lempicka (Maria Górska) was a glamour lady who believed in the expression of novelty and elegance. Tamara was born in the land of Chopin, Warsaw, Poland in 1898 from an influential background. She was the epitome of fashion and aristocracy.

Tamara was married to Taduesz Lempicki, a solicitor in 1916. However, during the period of the Russian Revolution, they had to flee Warsaw…and the pair reached Paris eventually. Tamara had some knowledge in painting from her childhood teachings. In Paris, she joined the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, where she learned more about the art and got to meet many elite individuals of Paris and Art Culture.

It was the 1920’s and it was the era of the style of visual arts, designs, and architecture. And Tamara was very much attracted to this design language. She found the Art Deco themes to be clean and precise. Moreover, she was clearly influenced by soft Cubism. Yet, According to Tamara, Picasso was not novel enough. She hated the expressionists’ use of dirty colors in their paintings.

After her first exhibition in Milan, Italy in 1925, Tamara became famous among the bourgeoisie families with her elegant and cutting-edge drawing style. She started to draw portraits of Dukes and Duchesses.

Her self-portrait ‘Tamara in the Green Bugatti’ was known as the representation of freedom when it became the cover image of the German Magazine Die Dame. It was a cold and detached beauty with graceful colors and an air of glamour. This painting showcased how the renaissance and synthetic cubism affected her works. 

The social and economic shift of the roaring 20’s became evident in the paintings of Tamara. Her bohemian and self-indulgent lifestyle, scandalous and obsessive love affairs…all became perceptible within the Art Deco Movement.  

Kizette, her daughter, became the subject of the many award-winning portrait series: Kizette on the balcony, Kizette in Pink, Kizette Sleeping, Portrait of Baroness Kizette and so forth. Although they didn’t meet much, Tamara used her paintings as a medium to keep Kizette close to her. Even some of her other paintings look a lot like Kizette…  

As a bisexual, her nude paintings overflow with craving and seduction. She was highly admired and condemned for her painting ‘Perverse Ingrism,’ which was her rewording of Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. It was later exhibited as ‘Group of Four Nudes’ in 1925, which was another landmark for Tamara.

Her vision of independence and self-reliance for women were showcased through her paintings over and over again. Her way of life came out in her painted canvases.

Tamara’s works would always be iconic due to the roaring 20’s socio-economic transition with the illustration of the Art Deco Movement. Tamara herself was as iconic as her painting, as an independent modern woman. The heritage of Tamara de Lempicka will live through her breathtaking artworks and her message of freedom for women. Independence. Beauty. Sophistication. These are the words that highlight Tamara’s work.