Woman Inside a Frame by Tamara De Lempicka

  • Tamara de Lempicka, best remembered for her Art Deco paintings, remains a 20th century great
  • Though unfinished, the artist's technical skill and artistic process is on display in this study
  • As with her neo-Cubist paintings, Lempicka creates immense depth through light and shading
  • Get complete item description here
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Tamara De Lempicka
1898-1980 | Polish

Woman Inside a Frame

Signed “T. Lempicka” (bottom right)
Pencil on paper

This pencil on paper study by Tamara de Lempicka captures a woman with her eyes closed. Though the sketch remains unfinished, Lempicka has begun to introduce a depth to the image, with a shadowed threshold framing the woman’s head. In the foreground, the mere outline of a second figure is visible. Best known for her Art Deco paintings of stylish women, Tamara de Lempicka is one of the 20th century’s most glamorous artists, and Woman Inside a Frame provides us with a glimpse into the artist’s creative process, technical skill and embodied style. 

Lempicka’s life was marked by constant movement. Born in Poland at the turn of the 20th century, Lempicka was forced to flee to France in 1918 after the beginning of the Russian Revolution. During a visit to Italy in her youth, she became enraptured by the Italian Old Masters. Inspired by this formative experience, Lempicka enrolled in Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris to take up painting. She studied under famed avant-garde artists Maurice Denis and André Lhote, who introduced her to Cubism, and she began exhibiting at the Parisian salons as early as 1922. Lempicka became a fixture in Parisian high society, spending much of her time hosting wealthy elites in her atelier on Rue Méchain. 

With a resurgence of appreciation for the Art Deco period, combined with the success of her retrospective at Galerie de Luxembourg in 1971, Lempicka’s work has achieved remarkable acclaim in recent decades. Much of her work resides in museums worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Musée des Beaux-Arts du Havre, and the National Museum Warsaw, among others. Alain Blondel, the esteemed French author who compiled the artist’s catalogue raisonné, wrote fondly of her uniqueness: “Tamara de Lempicka will always continue to defy categorization. Her art and her life destiny do not fit into the usual framework for 20th-century artists. The idea that art could be a profession was foreign to Lempicka. Her life and her painting were too closely intertwined for that.”

Paper: 3 1/4“ high x 4 1/4” wideFrame: 9 3/4“ high x 10 1/2” wide x 1 1/4“ deep

By Descent; Private Collection
M.S. Rau, New Orleans
Woman Inside a Frame by Tamara De Lempicka
Maker: de Lempicka, Tamara
Period: 1919-Present
Origin: France
Type: Drawings
Depth: 1.25 Inches
Width: 10.5 Inches
Height: 9.75 Inches
Canvas Width: 4.24 Inches
Canvas Height: 3.25 Inches
Woman Inside a Frame by Tamara De Lempicka
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