(1898-1980) Painter Tamara de Lempicka once explained: "I was the first woman to make clear paintings and that was the origin of my success. I was searching for a craft that no longer existed; I worked quickly with a delicate brush. I was in search of technique, craft, simplicity and good taste. My goal: never copy. Create a new style, with luminous and brilliant colours, rediscover the elegance of my models." And indeed: after you’ve seen one De Lempicka painting you will instantly recognise the rest of her work, which makes her one of the best known female artists of all time.
De Lempicka was originally Polish, but spent her working life in France and the US. After the Russian revolution, Tamara’s first husband Tadeusz was arrested by the secret police. She managed to get him released after which the couple fled to settle in Paris. The Łempickis lived for a while from the sale of family jewels. Tadeusz proved unwilling or unable to find suitable work, so Tamara decided to follow her lifelong passion become a professional artist. Her breakthrough came in 1925. After her paintings were spotted by Harper's Bazaar and other fashion magazines, and her fame rose and rose. On the outbreak of WWII, Tamara and her second husband moved to the US. She died in Mexico, and at her request, her ashes were scattered over the Popocatapetl volcano. She always placed high value on the fact she produced her own fortune, famously saying "There are no miracles, there is only what you make."
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