Artists Illustrating Boys' Fashions: Tamara de Lempicka (Poland, 1898-1980)

Figure 1.--The solen colors and imagery here is atypica for Polish art deco painter Tamara Lempicka. This painting bis variously dated, the most likely is 1937. If so it probably depicts Spanish Civil war refugees.

Tamara de Lempicka was born Maria Gorska in Warsaw, Poland (1898). She was the embodiment of the art deco style in art. Although he name is not well known outside of art cirles, some of her images of indepenpendent, fas women from the intet-War period are instantly recognizable. She was boen into a wealthy and prominent Polish family. Poland was at the time part of the Russian empire. Her father was a lawyer. Her mother was the former Malvina Decler, a Polish socialite. Maria was the second of three children. She was sent to a boarding school in Lausanne, Switzerland. It was aay od escaping vRussian influence and adding international polish and learming French. At the time the Russians did not allow Polish language schools. She spent ime with her grandmother in Italy and the French Riviera (1911). She was able to view many artistic master works. Her parents divorced (1912). Maria went to live with a wealthy Aunt Stefa in St. Petersberg, Russia. She was thus iun Russia during World War I and the Russian Recolution. She was arrested by the Cheka, but managed to escape to Sweden. She deceloped a style of "soft cubism". She mostly psinted portraits and her images of fashionable women are art deco classics. She lived a Bohemian life in Paris during the Roaring-20s financed by wealthy lovers and husbands. One notable image rather out of character is "The Refugees", variously dated. It was probably painted in 1937 and thus may depict Spaish Civil War refugees. She managed to get out of Poland just before the NAZI invasion and spent the War un Ameruca doing some war relief.


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Created: 6:12 AM 11/1/2009
Last updated: 6:12 AM 11/1/2009