“I live life in the margins of society, and the rules of normal society don’t apply to those who live on the fringe.”
-Tamara de Lempicka
Today’s Doodle celebrates Polish painter Tamara de Lempicka, who made a career out of subverting expectations and in doing so, developed her distinct style in the Art Deco era.
Born in Warsaw, Poland in 1898, Lempicka’s love for art started at an early age. As a young child, she spent a summer in Italy with her grandmother, who inspired her love for great Italian Renaissance painters. Upon her parents divorce, she was sent to live with her wealthy aunt in Russia. It was during this time that Lempicka was exposed to the lives of nobility as well as her future husband, Tadeusz Lempicki.
Shortly after their marriage, the Russian Revolution began and Lempicka, now a refugee, moved from St. Petersburg to Paris. It was there, at the height of post-cubism, where she began her formal artistic training under the influence of French painters Maurice Denis and André Lhote.
Internalizing her grandiose and decorative surroundings, Lempicka went on to produce exquisite tributes to the Roaring Twenties in her own unique way, utilizing a blend of late neoclassical and refined cubist styles in her art. Her affinity for the luxurious also led her to fixate on portraits of artists, stars, and aristocrats, which coupled with her considerable charm and exotic lifestyle, lit up the art world and social circles of the period.
Today’s Doodle by Doodler Matthew Cruickshank pays homage to Lempicka’s unique style. Cruickshank shares:
“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. I first encountered Lempicka’s work at her Royal Academy show in London, 2004. I was struck by the scale and skill of her paintings coupled with her life (as colorful as her work!). I chose to place a portrait of Lempicka in my design with accompanying motifs evocative of the roaring ’20s and ’30s. It’s no easy feat to recreate any artists work – but I hope to have done so here.”
Happy 120th birthday, Tamara de Lempicka!