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De Lempicka
1898 -1980

Auc<on of a De Lempicka artwork, Le rve (Rafala sur fond vert)



Sothebys analysis of De Lempicka artwork, Le rve (Rafala sur fond vert)


Video of De Lempicka in Hollywood


Dora Kallmus, Tamara de Lempicka, 1929,

Paris: D'Ora Studio

My Portrait (Tamara in a Green Buga3)

In its issue of October 3rd, 1928, the very widely read weekly "Vu"
published a cover picture by Kertsz, featuring a young lady at the
wheel of a sports car. The picture cap<on specied that the model's
sports oulit, her gloves and her leather cap, were all from Herms.
Lempicka wears exactly the same accessories in her self-portrait,
which was obviously inspired by the Kertsz photo.

Lempicka's BUGATTI: The green Bugam in the famous "Self-portrait"
was, in fact, a Renault. Moreover, it was yellow, if we are to believe
the recollec<ons of her daughter. Be that as it may, Lempicka was
irresis<bly seduc<ve at its wheel, so much so that she caught the eye
of the woman editor of a major German fashion magazine, Die Dame.
This fruilul encounter subsequently provided Lempicka with
opportuni<es to be featured on many cocirca of the magazine, greatly
contribu<ng to the spread of her reputa<on.
Images of TAMARA: Never had an ar<st been so preoccupied with her
own image as Lempicka: she herself did many self-portraits, and,
more especially, spent hours to simng for photographers, where she
would take on the amtude of a professional model. Her long stay in
Hollywood, and all her eorts to penetrate the movie world, suggest
that she longed to be in the "spotlight". Her "screen test" - with the
newsreel producers Path in 1932 - shows a supremely self-assured
image of her coming down the staircase of her rue Mchain studio,
ourishing a seemingly endless cigareBe-holder.

Andre Kertesz, photograph for

Vu magazine that inspired De
Lempickas self-portrait (?)

Tamara de Lempicka ,
Cover for Die Dame
July 1, 1929

Cover of Vu magazine,
published in France between
1928 and 1940.

Now an iconic image in the history of modernism, the ar<st appears

clad in a fashionable racing cap, leather gloves and billowing grey
scarf. Her Self-Portrait gives visual representa<on to the emergence of
the Parisian modern woman or garonne (bachelor girl), a new social
and literary category epitomized by the mass medias promo<on of
images of young, ostensibly emancipated and economically
independent women.4
Much has been wriBen about the new freedoms of European women
(and, in par<cular, women ar<sts and writers) during the Annes
Folles. In these years, mythologized as a utopian age of opportunity,
increasing numbers of expatriate modern women converged on Paris
as the centre of cultural produc<on and the capital of sexual
tolerance. It is commonplace that World War I had redened gender
rela<ons in France. With roughly 1.4 million men killed and 18 million
wounded, French demographics were radically altered for decades. A
large popula<on of widowed and unmarried women joined the
workforce both during and awer the Great War, challenging popular
expecta<ons of bourgeois femininity in the modern French family
structure. In her Self Portrait of 1929 de Lempicka is indeed staking a
claim to a specic kind of female modernity through her appropria<on
of imagery that nonetheless connotes the wealth and power that
remained inaccessible to most real working women.


Saint Moritz, 1929

Image created for Vogue Italia (?)

Art Deco Fashion

Portrait of a Man
or Tadeusz de Lempicki,

Wearing an elegant black overcoat comfortably buBoned
over a scarf of pure white, and with his opera hat in one
hand, Count Lempitzki (Lempicki) is ready to go out on the
town. It is night <me outside. The cold buildings in the
background seem to underscore the determined and
conquering step of someone impa<ent to be o. In his
haste, the Count refused to let the ar<st nish his lew hand;
never again would he get a chance to pose for the ar<st.

1928, Chronology: Tamara and Tadeusz were divorced
(against the ar<st's wishes) and the portrait she had begun
to paint of her husband (cat.38) was never nished. She
made the acquaintance of Dr Pierre Boucard, who
commissioned several portraits. Working increasingly hard,
she began to enjoy nancial success, spending long periods
in Cannes.
Tadeusz LEMPITZKI: In 1916, in Petrograd (St. Petersburg),
Tamara Gorska married Count Tadeusz Lempitzki (or
Lempicki, since the nobiliary par<cle was added later, in
France). Awer jointly emigra<ng to France with their
daughter KizeBe, the couple divorced in 1928.

Portrait of the Duchess of La Salle

Oil on canvas
162 x 97 cm (63 3/4 x 38 1/4 in) T.DE LEMPICKA. (top
(Portrait de la Duchesse de La Salle *)
This portrait underscores this horsewoman's domineering
eect by plan<ng her on a staircase carpeted in red. The
semng, cons<tuted by a column and a theatrically
imposing drape, seems more like an entranceway to a
nightclub or any other night spot than the hallway of a
ducal residence.

Duchess DE LA SALLE, Portrait retained by Lempicka: Born
in Athens in 1887, with Marika as her rst name, the
duchess owes her <tle to her marriage, in 1905, to Duke
de la Salle de Rochemaure. This marriage was not to the
liking of the family and thus ended in divorce, earning the
duchess a sizeable alimony. Done up <ghtly in her riding
amre, the duchess - who con<nued to pride herself over
her <tle - was most lavish with her newfound fortune,
much of which she alloBed to several ar<sts encountered
on social occasions (such as the English woman ar<st
Marlow Moss). By the thir<es, once her source of income
had run dry, she withdrew, with her daughter Romana, to
an Alpine village where she lived the simple life un<l her
death in 1973.

Portrait of Romana de La Salle, 1928

Portrait of Mrs. Bush

Oil on canvas
122 x 66 cm (48 x 26 in)
This portrait of Mrs. Rufus Bush, as a young bride of
nineteen, was painted in the United States, explaining its
American format. In fact, it was for this commission that
Lempicka rst went to New York.

Mrs. Rufus BUSH, Client: Mrs. Rufus Bush was a wealthy
heiress. When she sat for Lempicka, she was 19 and freshly
married. Awer her divorce three years later, she had the
pain<ng stored away and promptly forgot all about it. Sixty
years later, her daughter was surprised to discover, while
reading KizeBe de Lempicka's book, that her mother was
involved. Out of curiosity, the daughter paid a visit to the old
storehouse harbouring remnants of various family moves,
where she came upon the pain<ng. In a leBer she
immediately got o to share here feelings with KizeBe, the
daughter writes: "There it was, like new, in perfect
condi<on, unmoved over the past sixty years! It was a
moving experience, like opening a <me capsule." This was
the commission that had brought Lempicka to New York in

The Blue Scarf, 1930

Tamara de Lempicka, Jeune lle en vert, 1930.

Sharing Secrets, 1928

The Telephone II, 1930

The Pink Tunic, 1927

Lady in Blue with Guitar, 1929






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