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Stylistic development

Tamara Gorska-Lempitzky arrived in Paris in 1918 in difficult circumstances: she was only twenty, her husband had no position, and she was the mother of a very young little girl. On the other hand, she had lost none of her remarkable energy. Deciding to continue the studies she had interrupted in St. Petersburg, she signed up for Maurice Denis's course at the Académie Ranson, and that of André Lhote at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. The influence of both teachers made itself felt; for instance, in the wavy lines of "Mother and Child" (B.12) in the fashion of Denis, and in the triangular facets used to build up the face of "The Chinese Man" (B.1), borrowed from Lhote. At this early point of her artistic career, Lempicka had a taste for expressivity, which made her seek out models whose body and face showed deep marks left by life. Increasingly, she took to painting themes beyond the academy studio's range, and to adding props that provide clues as to the sitter's psychological attitude or social status (cf. especially "The Fortune-Teller" [B.6], "The Polo Player" [B.8], or "Redheaded Woman Reading " [B.11]).
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spacerPortrait of Irena Kleinman
Portrait of Irena Kleinman
spacerPortrait of Bearded Man
Portrait of Bearded Man
spacerSketch. Portrait of Male Nude from Behind
Sketch. Portrait of Male Nude from Behind
spacerFashion Illustration
Fashion Illustration
spacerStudy of a Kneeling Woman
Study of a Kneeling Woman
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spacerMusician
Musician
spacerPortrait of Ira Perrot
Portrait of Ira Perrot
spacerCubesizing Female Nude
Cubesizing Female Nude
spacerNude Leaning on Her Elbows
Nude Leaning on Her Elbows
spacerSeated Nude with an Elbow on Her Knee
Seated Nude with an Elbow on Her Knee
spacer
spacerKneeling Nude
Kneeling Nude
spacerSeated Woman, Cubist
Seated Woman, Cubist
spacerFuturist Composition
Futurist Composition
spacerThe Chinese Man
The Chinese Man
spacerWoman Wearing a Shawl, in Profile
Woman Wearing a Shawl, in Profile
spacer
spacerFlowerpot with Fuchsias
Flowerpot with Fuchsias
spacerBouquet of Hortensias and Lemon
Bouquet of Hortensias and Lemon
spacerPortrait of a Peasant with a Headdress
Portrait of a Peasant with a Headdress
spacerThe Fortune-Teller
The Fortune-Teller
spacerPortrait of a Young Lady in a Blue Dress
Portrait of a Young Lady in a Blue Dress
spacer
spacerPortrait of a Polo Player
Portrait of a Polo Player
spacerPortrait of a Little Girl with Her Teddy Bear
Portrait of a Little Girl with Her Teddy Bear
spacerPortrait of a Young Lady with a Hat
Portrait of a Young Lady with a Hat
spacerRedheaded Woman Reading
Redheaded Woman Reading
spacerMother and Child
Mother and Child
spacer
spacerThe Kiss
The Kiss
spacerThe Checkered Hat
The Checkered Hat
spacerPortrait of a Sad Young Lady
Portrait of a Sad Young Lady
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  • Portrait of Irena Kleinman
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    Portrait of Irena Kleinman

    A.001
    1915
    Crayon on paper
    28,5 x 16 cm (11 1/4 x 6 1/4 in) 
    Tamara Gorska 1915 (bottom right)
    (Portrait d'Irena Kleinman)
    Collections
    1915 - Collection of Mrs. Kurt Weiss - U.S.A.
  • Portrait of Bearded Man
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    Portrait of Bearded Man

    A.002
    circa1915
    Crayon on paper
    24 x 15 cm (9 1/2 x 5 7/8 in) 
    T.DE LEMPICKA (artist's stamp bottom right)
    (Portrait d'homme barbu)
    Auctions
    21/06/1988 - PARIS. Briest, # 171 $ 1 835
  • Sketch. Portrait of Male Nude from Behind
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    Sketch. Portrait of Male Nude from Behind

    A.003
    circa1920
    Crayon on paper
    44 x 28 cm (17 3/8 x 11 in) 
    T.DE LEMPICKA (artist's stamp bottom right)
    (Croquis. Homme nu de dos)
    Auctions
    21/06/1988 - PARIS. Briest, # 176 $ 2 500
  • Fashion Illustration
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    Fashion Illustration

    A.004
    circa1920
    Watercolor on paper
    20 x 12,1 cm (7 7/8 x 4 3/4 in) 
    T.L (bottom right)
    (Illustration de mode)
    Collections
    1972 - Private collection - France
  • Study of a Kneeling Woman
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    Study of a Kneeling Woman

    A.005
    circa1921
    Crayon on paper, (Etude d'une femme agenouillée)
    23,5 x 15,5 cm (9 1/4 x 6 1/8 in) 
    (Etude d'une femme agenouillée)
  • Musician
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    Musician

    A.006
    circa1921
    Crayon on paper
    23,7 x 15,6 cm (9 3/8 x 6 1/8 in) 
    (Musicienne)
    In 1929, this drawing would serve as a basis for "The Musician".
    Collections
    1980 - Fundacion Victor Manuel Contreras - Mexico
  • Portrait of Ira Perrot
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    Portrait of Ira Perrot

    A.007
    circa1922
    Crayon on paper
    44 x 28 cm (17 3/8 x 11 in) 
    Lempicka (artist's stamp bottom right)
    (Portrait d'Ira Perrot)
    History
    Ira PERROT, Family or close friend: Until 1939, Ira Perrot and Lempicka were close friends. Besides sitting for her 1930 portrait ("Portrait of Ira Perrot" [B.143]), most probably Perrot was also the model for "Woman in the Black Dress" (B.31) and "Her Sadness" (B.30). The latter work is listed in Kizette de Lempicka-Foxhall's book as "Portrait of Mrs. P."
  • Cubesizing Female Nude
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    Cubesizing Female Nude

    A.008
    circa1922
    Crayon on paper
    29 x 15 cm (11 3/8 x 5 7/8 in) 
    de Lempicka (bottom right)
    (Nu féminin “cubisant”)
    Collections
    1986 - Private collection - France
    Auctions
    05/05/1986 - PARIS. Renaud, # 23 $ 0
  • Nude Leaning on Her Elbows
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    Nude Leaning on Her Elbows

    A.009
    circa1922
    Crayon on paper
    30,5 x 23 cm (12 x 9 in) 
    (Nu accoudé)
    Auctions
    02/11/1993 - NEW YORK. Christie's East “Greg-7489”, # 129 $ 2 500
    16/02/1989 - NEW YORK. Christie's “Vicki-6762”, # $ 1 400
    18/02/1988 - NEW YORK. Christie's “Shira-6540”, # 58 $ 0
  • Seated Nude with an Elbow on Her Knee
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    Seated Nude with an Elbow on Her Knee

    A.010
    circa1922
    Crayon on paper
    30,5 x 23 cm (12 x 9 in) 
    LEMPICKA (artist's stamp bottom left)
    (Nu assis, un coude sur le genou)
    Auctions
    21/06/1988 - PARIS. Briest, # 157 $ 6 330
  • Kneeling Nude
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    Kneeling Nude

    A.011
    circa1922
    Crayon on paper
    20,5 x 16,5 cm (8 1/8 x 6 1/2 in) 
    LEMPICKA (artist's stamp bottom left)
    (Nu agenouillé)
    Auctions
    21/06/1988 - PARIS. Briest, # 175 $ 2 500
  • Seated Woman, Cubist
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    Seated Woman, Cubist

    A.012
    circa1922
    Crayon on paper
    18,5 x 13 cm (7 1/4 x 5 1/8 in) 
    LEMPICKA. (artist's stamp bottom right)
    (Femme assise, cubiste)
    Collections
    1989 - Collection of Anna Gardner Luce - U.S.A.
  • Futurist Composition
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    Futurist Composition

    A.013
    circa1922
    Crayon on paper
    20,3 x 13,2 cm (8 x 5 1/4 in) 
    LEMPICKA (artist's stamp bottom right)
    (Composition futuriste)
    Collections
    1972 - Private collection - France
  • The Chinese Man
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    The Chinese Man

    B.001
    circa1921
    Oil on canvas
    35 x 27 cm (13 3/4 x 10 5/8 in) 
    DE LEMPICKA. (top right)
    (Le Chinois *)
    On the back: "The Chinese Man / painted by Tamara de Lempicka 1921". The signature and (approximate) date were no doubt added by Tamara de Lempicka in 1976, when she donated eighteen paintings to the Museums of France.
    Collections
    1976 - Musée des Beaux-Arts du Havre - France
    Exhibitions
    1997 - Hiroshima Museum of Arts. Tamara de Lempicka, Tokyo-Hiroshima, Japan
  • Woman Wearing a Shawl, in Profile
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    Woman Wearing a Shawl, in Profile

    B.002
    circa1922
    Oil on canvas
    61 x 46 cm (24 x 18 1/8 in) 
    T.DE LEMPICKA. (artist's stamp bottom left)
    (Femme de profil vêtue d'un châle)
    Collections
    1925 - Purchased directly by Mrs. Blanche Cheyr - France
    1993 - Barry Friedman Ltd. - U.S.A.
  • Flowerpot with Fuchsias
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    Flowerpot with Fuchsias

    B.003
    circa1922
    Oil on cardboard
    49,5 x 33,5 cm (19 1/2 x 13 1/4 in) 
    DE LEMPICKA. (top left)
    (Le pot de Fuschias)
    Collections
    1950 - Private collection - France
    1995 - Private collection - France
  • Bouquet of Hortensias and Lemon
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    Bouquet of Hortensias and Lemon

    B.004
    circa1922
    Oil on canvas
    55 x 46 cm (21 5/8 x 18 1/8 in) 
    T.DE LEMPICKA. (artist's stamp bottom left)
    (Bouquet d’hortensias et citron)
    Collections
    1925 - Purchased directly by Mrs. Blanche Cheyr - France
    1992 - Barry Friedman Ltd. - U.S.A.
    1994 - Private collection - Poland
    Auctions
    24/11/1992 - PARIS. Rabourdin, Choppin de Janvry, # 17 $ 0
  • Portrait of a Peasant with a Headdress
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    Portrait of a Peasant with a Headdress

    B.005
    circa1922
    Oil on canvas
    (Portrait d'une paysanne avec une coiffe)
    A painting identified through a photo of the artist's studio taken by Lempicka's cousin, Constantin Stifter.
    Collections
    1922 - Unknown collection -
  • The Fortune-Teller
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    The Fortune-Teller

    B.006
    circa1922
    Oil on canvas
    73 x 60 cm (28 3/4 x 23 5/8 in) 
    T.DE LEMPICKA. (artist's stamp bottom right)
    (La diseuse de bonne aventure)
    At the start of her career, the artist must have had her doubts about what the future held in store...
    Collections
    1925 - Purchased directly by Mrs. Blanche Cheyr - France
    1993 - Barry Friedman Ltd. - U.S.A.
    Exhibitions
    1996 - Barry Friedman Ltd. "Tamara de Lempicka", New-York, United States
    Auctions
    24/11/1992 - PARIS. Rabourdin, Choppin de Janvry, # 15 $ 0
  • Portrait of a Young Lady in a Blue Dress
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    Portrait of a Young Lady in a Blue Dress

    B.007
    1922
    Oil on canvas
    63 x 53 cm (24 3/4 x 20 7/8 in) 
    T.DE LEMPICKA. (artist's stamp top left)
    (Portrait d'une jeune femme en robe bleue)
    The sitter for this portrait was Ira Perrot, in whose house a photograph was taken showing a first circa ion of this painting, where the young lady is seated on some cushions. This second circa ion of that portrait, is centered differently, far closer up and thus more modern. The artist would intensify later works in this same manner.
    Collections
    1925 - Purchased directly by Mrs. Blanche Cheyr - France
    1993 - Barry Friedman Ltd. - U.S.A.
    Exhibitions
    1922 - Salon d'Automne 1922, Paris, France
    1994 - Accademia di Francia (Villa Medici), "Tamara de Lempicka/ Tra eleganza e trasgressione", Rome, Italy
    1996 - Barry Friedman Ltd. "Tamara de Lempicka", New-York, United States
    1997 - Hiroshima Museum of Arts. Tamara de Lempicka, Tokyo-Hiroshima, Japan
    History
    1922, Chronology: Exhibited for the first time at the Salon d'Automne: her first portrait of Ira Perrot, with whom she had embarked on a relationship that was to last several years. De Lempicka set up house in an apartment in the Place Wagram where her attentive cousin, Constantin Stiffer, photographed her recent paintings.
    Ira PERROT, Family or close friend: Until 1939, Ira Perrot and Lempicka were close friends. Besides sitting for her 1930 portrait ("Portrait of Ira Perrot" [B.143]), most probably Perrot was also the model for "Woman in the Black Dress" (B.31) and "Her Sadness" (B.30). The latter work is listed in Kizette de Lempicka-Foxhall's book as "Portrait of Mrs. P."
    Auctions
    24/11/1992 - PARIS. Rabourdin, Choppin de Janvry, # 15 $ 0
  • Portrait of a Polo Player
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    Portrait of a Polo Player

    B.008
    circa1922
    Oil on canvas
    73 x 60 cm (28 3/4 x 23 5/8 in) 
    T.DE LEMPICKA. (artist's stamp bottom left)
    (Portrait d'un joueur de polo)
    First portrait of a man bearing an arrogant expression. The way his head is held, and his gloved hand holding a whip, foreshadow the artist's subsequent portraits of Italian aristocrats. The man portrayed could be Tadeusz Lempitzky, Lempicka's first husband.
    Collections
    1925 - Purchased directly by Mrs. Blanche Cheyr - France
    1993 - Barry Friedman Ltd. - U.S.A.
    1996 - Private collection - U.S.A.
    Exhibitions
    1994 - Accademia di Francia (Villa Medici), "Tamara de Lempicka/ Tra eleganza e trasgressione", Rome, Italy
    1996 - Barry Friedman Ltd. "Tamara de Lempicka", New-York, United States
    History
    1919, Chronology: The family moved to Paris, and De Lempicka's parents took up residence in an inexpensive hotel in Passy. Tamara and Tadeusz took temporary refuge in the large apartment of Constantin Stiffer, a cousin. Birth of their daughter Kizette.
    Tadeusz LEMPITZKI, Family or close friend: In 1916, in Petrograd (St. Petersburg), Tamara Gorska married Count Tadeusz Lempitzki (or Lempicki, since the nobiliary particle was added later, in France). After jointly emigrating to France with their daughter Kizette, the couple divorced in 1928.
    Auctions
    24/11/1992 - PARIS. Rabourdin, Choppin de Janvry, # 16 $ 0
  • Portrait of a Little Girl with Her Teddy Bear
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    Portrait of a Little Girl with Her Teddy Bear

    B.009
    circa1922
    Oil on canvas
    65 x 50 cm (25 5/8 x 19 5/8 in) 
    T.DE LEMPICKA. (artist's stamp bottom right)
    (Portrait d'une fillette avec son ourson)
    Conceivably, it this was this portrait of Kizette, Lempicka's daughter, that went on display at the Bottega di Poesia gallery and was entitled "Ritratto di fanciulla". The teddy bear would reappear in the later "Portrait of Miss Poum Rachou".
    Collections
    1984 - Private collection - Spain
    Exhibitions
    1925 - Bottega di Poesia, "Tamara de Lempitzka", Milan, Italy
    History
    1919, Chronology: The family moved to Paris, and De Lempicka's parents took up residence in an inexpensive hotel in Passy. Tamara and Tadeusz took temporary refuge in the large apartment of Constantin Stiffer, a cousin. Birth of their daughter Kizette.
    Her Daughter KIZETTE, Family or close friend: Lempicka gave birth to her daughter at a very young age. Quite early on, she used Kizette as a model, painting her through a marvelling eye. The five large-scale portraits she did of Kizette, between 1923 and 1933, remain among the most noteworthy of her artistic accomplishments. Baroness de Lempicka-Foxhall, as Kizette has now become, gathered together her recollections and, with the help of Charles Phillips, published them in the form of a biography in 1987: Passion by Design, The Art and Times of Tamara de Lempicka, op.cit.
  • Portrait of a Young Lady with a Hat
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    Portrait of a Young Lady with a Hat

    B.010
    circa1922
    Oil on canvas
    (Portrait de jeune femme avec chapeau)
    A painting identified through a photo of Lempicka's studio taken by her cousin, Constantin Stifter.
    Collections
    1922 - Unknown collection -
  • Redheaded Woman Reading
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    Redheaded Woman Reading

    B.011
    circa1922
    Oil on canvas
    92 x 73 cm (36 1/4 x 28 3/4 in) 
    T.DE LEMPICKA. (artist's stamp top right)
    (Femme rousse lisant)
    The artist reverted several times to the theme of a woman reading. The choice of a model - with a face so deeply lined by life - ties in with other, equally cruel portraits, testifying to Lempicka's permanent state of anxiety. Although fascinated by beauty, she was at the same time painfully aware of its fleeting nature.
    Collections
    1972 - Private collection - France
    Exhibitions
    1997 - Hiroshima Museum of Arts. Tamara de Lempicka, Tokyo-Hiroshima, Japan
    Auctions
    18/06/1990 - PARIS. Charbonneaux., # 9 $ 0
  • Mother and Child
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    Mother and Child

    B.012
    circa1922
    Oil on canvas
    92 x 65 cm (36 1/4 x 25 5/8 in) 
    (Mère et enfant)
    The subject of this study, created under the direct influence of Maurice Denis, is one to which the artist would revert in several later works..
    Collections
    1980 - Private collection - France
    History
    The RELIGIOUS FEELING, Biography, Psychology: Religious feeling, intrinsic to Tamara de Lempicka's nature, began showing through in her oeuvre with works such as "Mother and Child" (B.12), although, admittedly, this work in particular was created under the direct influence of Maurice Denis. The moral crisis undergone by the artist from 1934 to 1936 exacerbated this feeling. And, finally, at the end of her life, Lempicka commended her soul to God through her numerous replicas of Madonna and St. Anthony (which, moreover, stood side to side with other copies of the sulfurous Rafaëla).
  • The Kiss
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    The Kiss

    B.013
    circa1922
    Oil on canvas
    50 x 61 cm (19 5/8 x 24 in) 
    DÉ DÉ (top left & bottom right)
    (Le baiser)
    In this painting, Lempicka - striving to personalize her style - experimented with several procedures. Among these, the presence of an urban background (and also a port?), handled in Cubist fashion, would prove especially fruitful. Notice that the man wears the same clothing accessories - a black overcoat, a white scarf, and a top hat - as her husband Tadeusz. Six years later, she would do the latter's full length portrait. The woman whose head is thrown back matches one of the figures in "Group of Four Nudes", 1925 (B.64).
    Collections
    1977 - Private collection - France
    History
    Tadeusz LEMPITZKI, Family or close friend: In 1916, in Petrograd (St. Petersburg), Tamara Gorska married Count Tadeusz Lempitzki (or Lempicki, since the nobiliary particle was added later, in France). After jointly emigrating to France with their daughter Kizette, the couple divorced in 1928.
  • The Checkered Hat
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    The Checkered Hat

    B.014
    circa1922
    Oil on canvas
    (Le chapeau à damiers)
    All trace of this pochade has been lost. This photograph of it belongs to a set taken of this Lempicka's paintings by her cousin, Constantin Stifter, in her studio at Place Wagram, Paris.
  • Portrait of a Sad Young Lady
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    Portrait of a Sad Young Lady

    B.015
    circa1922
    Oil on canvas
    (Portrait d'une jeune femme triste)
    A pensive young lady is seated against a background of stylized vegetation. Failing a better hypothesis, this painting could well be the "Portrait of Autumn" listed in the Bottega di Poesia gallery exhibition catalog. It can be likened to those that the artist did of her friend Ira Perrot, especially the one entitled "Her Sadness". A painting identified through a photo of tLempicka's studio taken by her cousin, Constantin Stifter.
    Collections
    1922 - Unknown collection -
    Exhibitions
    1925 - Bottega di Poesia, "Tamara de Lempitzka", Milan, Italy