Lempicka, commonly known as Tamara de Lempicka (16 May 1898 - 18 March 1980) was a Polish Art Deco painter and "the first woman artist to be a glamour star. She is best known for her stunning Art Deco paintings that capture the elegance and decadence of 1920's cosmopolitan nobility. Art Deco embraced the machine and progress. The clean lines and neat stylised fashion suited De Lempicka, who hated the hazy and untidy images of the Impressionist movement.
Lempicka born into a rich and prominent family, her father was a Polish lawyer, her mother, the former Malvina Decler, a Polish socialite. After her parents seperated, her well-to-do grandma spoiled her with garments and travel. She was attending school in Switzerland at the age of 14.
Tamara went to live with her wealthy Aunt Stephanie in 1912. All this high living offered the her a thought of her future life. She fell in love with lawyer Taduesz Lempicki in 1914 who was the most handscome guy in warsaw. The girl set her sights on him and mairried him in trendy St. Petersburg two years later. Her rich uncle supplied the dowry, and Lempicki, who had no cash of his own, was glad to marry this gorgeous l6 year old girl.
After a year, her husband was caught by the Bolsheviks, and Tamara braved the Russian Revolution to free him, by using her beautiful looks to get favors from the important officials. The couple left to Paris where she began her fantastic life.
Today generally known as Tamara De Lempicka, the refugee learned art and worked all the day. She started to be a famous portrait artist with a uniuqe Art Deco style. Quintessentialy French, Deco was the element of a amazing, sexy, plus glamourous Paris which epitomized Lempicka's living and art style.
In the wars, the artist created portrait paintings of authors, performers, artists, experts, industrialists as well as a lot of Eastern Europe's exiled nobility. Kizette, her daughter, wrote in her biograpy of Tamara De Lempica Passion By Design, "She painted them all, the rich, the successful, the renowned -- the best. And with many she also slept. The work helped bring her crucial popularity, social celebrit along with substantial wealth.
Tamara left Paris for Amerca while undering the threat of world war II. She decided to go to Hollywood, to be the "Favorite Artist of the Hollywood Stars". She together with her second husband, Baron Raoul Kuffner, one of her earliest and wealthiest people, moved into King Vidor's past residence in Beverly Hills.
In 1943, the couple transferred to New York City, to a beautiful apartment at 322 East 57th Street, in whose two-story north light studio Tarmara went on working in the old style for a couple of years. Tamara decorated the home with antiques she and the Baron saved from his Hungarian estate. When the war ended, she reopened her well-known Paris studio in the rue Mechain, redesigned in rococo style.
Her friends also asked Tamara to decorate homes in NY because of her unique touch.. After the death of her husband, she moved to Houston to be near her child Kizette. She started painting with a palette knife, much in vogue during the time.
The coming of Abstract Expressionism and her advancing age stopped her career in the 1950's and 1960's. A bit forgotten, Lempicka's work ignored, she persisted to paint, keeping her canvases in an loft and a warehouse.
In 1966, the Musee des Arts Decoratifs mounted a memorial show in Paris known as "Les Annees '25". The success of this show produced the first significant attention in Art Deco.
This motivated Alain Blondel to open the Galerie du Luxembourg and introduced a main retrospective of Tamara De Lempicka. It was a exposure in the art world and was to have been accompanied by a show at the Knoedler Gallery in New York City but Tamara, ever imperious, had way too many demands on how the exhibit should be mounted, and the curator of Knoedler stepped away. Gradually, since Art Deco and figurative artwork become popular again, she was rediscovered by the art world .
She moved to Mexico In 1978 for life, purchasing a attractive house in Cuernavaca named Tres Bambus, designed by a Japanese architect in a chic neighborhood. Tamara upset of getting old and in her last years desired the company of young folks. She mourned at the gone of her good looks and was cantankerous to the end.
Tamara De Lempicka died in her sleep on March 18, 1980 with her daughter at her side.
Lempicka's popular oil painting reproductions including: