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Passion by Design: The Art and Times of Tamara de Lempicka

Passion by Design: The Art and Times of Tamara de Lempicka

Abbeville Press

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Tamara de Lempicka (1898–1980) was a seductive and talented artist who captured the essence of the 1920s on canvas, much like F. Scott Fitzgerald did through his writing. With her Garbo-esque beauty and commanding persona, she achieved great success in Paris, Hollywood, and New York, portraying the rich and famous in stunning Art Deco paintings. Her work led to a life of excess that even surpassed Fitzgerald's wildest dreams.

Passion by Design, written by Tamara de Lempicka's own daughter, provides an intimate glimpse into the captivating personality of the renowned artist. This edition features stunning color reproductions of her most notable paintings and exclusive photos from her family's personal albums. With a new foreword from Marisa de Lempicka, the artist's great-granddaughter, this book delves into the ever-evolving legacy of Tamara de Lempicka, including her recent record-breaking sales and the new musical inspired by her life.

  • Written by Kizette de Lempicka-Foxhall, the artist's daughter
  • Revised edition
  • Product Type: Biography, Hardcover
  • 200 pages, with 100 illustrations
  • Published in 2020
  • Shipping Dimensions: 9.3 × 7.4 × 0.9 inches  (23.6 × 18.8 × 2.3 cm)
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 lb (30.4 oz; 862 g)
  • SKU010011404 | 9780789213754

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Tamara de Lempicka

About the Artist

Tamara de Lempicka

Tamara Łempicka (1898 – 1980), better known as Tamara de Lempicka, was a Jewish Polish painter who spent her working life in France and the United States. She is best known for her polished Art Deco portraits of aristocrats and the wealthy, and for her highly stylized paintings of nudes.

Born in Warsaw, Łempicka briefly moved to Saint Petersburg where she married Tadeusz Łempicki, a prominent Polish lawyer, then travelled to Paris. She studied painting with Maurice Denis and André Lhote. Her style was a blend of late, refined cubism and the neoclassical style, particularly inspired by the work of Jean-Dominique Ingres. She was an active participant in the artistic and social life of Paris between the wars. In 1928 she became the mistress of Baron Raoul Kuffner, a wealthy art collector from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. After her divorce from Łempicki in 1931 and the death of his wife in 1933, Kuffner married Lempicka in 1934, and thereafter she became known in the press as "The Baroness with a Brush".

Following the outbreak of World War II in 1939, she and her husband moved to the United States and she painted celebrity portraits, as well as still lifes and, in the 1960s, some abstract paintings. Her work was out of fashion after World War II, but made a comeback in the late 1960s, with the rediscovery of Art Deco. She moved to Mexico in 1974, where she died in 1980.

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