Google Doodle: Who is Tamara de Lempicka? Why is she being honoured on 120th birthday? | Tech | Life & Style

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The Google Doodle marks the iconic painter’s 120th birthday who spent most of her working life in France and the United States.

Tamara Lempicka, also known as Tamara de Lempicka, was born on May 16 1898.

She was best known for her Art-Deco portraits of aristocrats and the wealthy and her stylised celebrity portraits and nudes in the 1920s and 1930s.

Lempicka was the daughter of a Russian Jewish lawyer and a Polish socialite.

Born as Maria Gorska in Warsaw, the iconic artist attended school in Lausanne, Switzerland.

She made her first portrait of her younger sister at the tender age of 10.

When her parents divorced, she went to live with her wealthy aunt in Russia and developed a love for the Italian Renaissance painters.

The artist fell in love with a bachelor named Tadeusz Lempicki and they married just two years later in St Petersburg.

Shortly after their marriage, the Russian Revolution began and the couple, now refugees, fled from St Petersburg to Paris, where the rest of her husband’s family had sought refuge.

Lempicka’s life truly began when she moved to Paris, and she started formal artistic training under the influence of French painters Maurice Denis and Andre Lhote.

The refugee studied art and worked day and night and became a well-known portrait painter with a distinctive Art Deco manner.

She was working at the height of post-cubism and documented the 1920s in a unique style, blending elements of refined cubism and neoclassical elements.

Between the wars, she painted portraits of writers, entertainers, artists, scientists, industrialists and many of Eastern Europe’s exiled nobility.

Kizette de Lempica-Foxhall said in her biography of Tamara De Lempica Passion by Design: “She painted them all, the rich, the successful, the renowned – the best.”

Her work brought her critical acclaim, social celebrity and considerable wealth.

In 1938, Lempicka divorced from Tadeusz in 1928 and met Baron Raoul Kuffner, becoming his mistress.

The pair married in 1934 following the death of his first wife which earned her nickname “The Baroness with a Brush.”

In the 1930s, her career reached its peak and she began painting glamorous celebrity portraits and highly stylised nudes.

Some of the famous people she painted included the likes of King Alfonso XIII of Spain and Queen Elizabeth of Greece.

The Google Doodle was created by artist Matthew Cruickshank who paid homage to the artist’s unique style:

He said: “Few artists embodied the exuberant roaring twenties more than polish artist Tamara de Lempicka.

“Her fast paced, opulent lifestyle manifests itself perfectly into the stylized Art-Deco subjects she celebrated in her paintings.”



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