Texts by Giancarlo Marmori, Piero Chiara, Aélis Mazoyer
1977 / 160 PAGES
In the 1920s and ’30s, a young Polish artist portrayed European high society in post-cubist neoclassical paintings. This book guides readers to the rediscovery of Tamara de Lempicka, forgotten for decades.
A young, beautiful Polish painter. Tamara de Lempicka. An eloquent lecherous dwarf in military uniform. Gabriele D'Annunzio. Tamara went to D'Annunzio's to paint his portrait; D'Annunzio welcomed her, hoping to lure her into his harem. Both failed. Chronicler of their meeting and their fiasco: Aélis Mazoyer, D'Annunzio's maid, mistress and housekeeper, author of a torrential diary, unpublished. An extraordinary literary find that shows us, like no other text, daily life at the Vittoriale.
But who was Tamara? In the 1920s and '30s, this young artist offered the European ruling classes her ability as a portraitist and the chance to contemplate themselves once again in the mirror of a final neoclassicism which, when analysed, reveals the post-cubist school of André Lhote. In her paintings, Tamara managed to blend monumentality and frivolity, officialness and vice (this blend made her one of the most singular Art Deco artists). In her later years, her works achieved renewed success: exhibitions, museum purchases, and a Sunday Times supplement dedicated to her.