Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lempicka, Tamara de

Tamara in the Green Bugatti (Self-Portrait)
oil on canvas
Private Collection

Tamara de Lempicka (1898 - 1980), born in Moscow, in the Russian Empire, was a Polish Art Deco painter and "the first woman artist to be a glamour star."
She took advantage of the growing interest in women who were entering the arts following the First World War, and indeed, she strongly believed that she stood out among them. She wrote, "I was the first woman who did clear painting---and that was the success of my painting. Among a hundred paintings, you could recognize mine. And the galleries began to put me in the best rooms, always in the center, because my painting attracted people. It was neat, it was finished".

In 1978 she moved to Mexico permanently, buying a beautiful house in Cuernavaca, built by a Japanese architect. She despaired of growing old and in her last years sought the company of young people. She mourned at the loss of her beauty and was cantankerous to the end. She died in her sleep on March 18, 1980 with her daughter at her side. Her wish to be cremated and have her ashes spread on the top of the volcano Popocatepetl was carried out.
Tamara never owned a green Bugatti.
American singer-songwriter Madonna is a huge fan and collector of her work.