Art of Tamara de Lempicka

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Tamara de Lempicka (1898 – 1980), a noted Art Deco painter.

Lempicka musician
“The Musician” (1929), oil on canvas.

words and art: languid, habitués, madcap

Her work reflects the neoclassical revival of the 1920s, to which Picasso contributed with his colossal seaside nudes. Lempicka belongs to the line of painters, extending through Jacques-Louis David and Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, who stress sharp outlines and sculptural mass. Indeed, a contemporary critic, noting Lempicka's heavy, languid forms and polished surfaces, called her “the perverse Ingres of the Machine Age.” She admired Botticelli, Antonello da Messina, and Mannerists like Bronzino and Pontormo, with their refined, armored style. Her subjects were the glittering habitués of postwar Paris café society, where new money met old and where cosmopolitan refugees mixed with Jazz Age entertainers and madcap youth.

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Portrait of Doctor Boucard
the girls
“The Girls” (1928) oil on canvas.
A great, beautiful, mural, by Tamara de Lempicka. This is a scene from the movie Batman.

For other Art Deco work, see:

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