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Tamara de Lempicka

Tamara de Lempicka (1898 - 1980), Noted Art Deco painter, was born Maria Gorska in a wealthy family in Warsaw, Poland.

In 1912, after her parents divorced, she was sent by her Grandmother to school in Lausanne, Switzerland. In 1914 she married a lawyer named Taduesz Lempicki in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 1915, during the Russian Revolution, Taduesz was arrested by the Bolsheviks. Although only a seventeen years old, Tamara pleaded for, and finally secured, his release.

The Lempickis then fled to Paris, France where she became known as Tamara de Lempicka. She studied art and became a well-known portrait painter, developing a distinctive and bold style which epitomizes the cool modernism of Art Deco.

At the outset of the second World War she moved to Beverly Hills, California with her second husband, Baron Raoul Kuffner. In 1943 they relocated to New York City where she continued to paint in her trademark style.

After Baron Kuffner's death in 1962, Tamara moved to Houston, Texas and began painting in a new style, using a palette knife rather than a brush to lay down the paint. Her new paintings were not well received, and Tamara swore that she would never exhibit her work again.

In 1978 she moved to Cuernavaca[?], Mexico. She died in her sleep on March 19, 1980 and her ashes were scattered over the volcano Popocatepetl.

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