Lot 194
  • 194

Tamara de Lempicka

Estimate
70,000 - 90,000 GBP
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Description

  • Tamara de Lempicka
  • La Veuve
  • oil on canvas
  • 53 by 35.4cm., 20¾ by 13⅞in.

Provenance

Charles Guénot (acquired directly from the artist)
Private Collection (by descent from the above; sale: Sotheby's, New York, 6th May 2010, lot 414)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner

Exhibited

Milan, Bottega di Poesia, Tamara de Lempicka, 1925, no. 22
Paris, Galerie de Luxembourg, Tamara de Lempicka de 1925 à 1935, 1972, no. 28
Paris, Pinacothèque de Paris, Tamara de Lempicka - La Reine de l'Art Déco, 2013, n.n., illustrated in the catalogue

Literature

Tamara de Lempicka, Annotated photo album, Archives Lempicka, Houston, 1923, no. 41
Didier de Sceaux, 'Un Peintre: Tamara de Lempicka' in Le Forum, Paris, 1927, illustrated
Georges Remon, 'Tamara de Lempicka' in Mobilier et Décoration, vol XI, no. 1, Sèvres, 1929, illustrated p. 34
Arsène Alexandre, 'Tamara de Lempicka' in La Renaissance de l'Art français, Paris, 1929, p. 336
Maria Croci, 'Una Pittrice, Tamara de Lempicka' in La Donna, Italy, 1932, illustrated p. 59
Alain Blondel, Tamara de Lempicka, Catalogue raisonné, 1921-1979, Lausanne, 1999, no. B.36, illustrated p. 111
Tamara de Lempicka: La regina del moderno (exhibition catalogue), Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome, 2011, illustrated in colour p. 252

Condition

The canvas is not lined. There is a thick layer of varnish preventing the UV light from fully penetrating, however UV examination does reveal spots and lines of retouching mostly to the black pigments. Some spots and lines are visible in the window. Some fluorescence visible to the center of the upper edge. There are some minor spots of retouching visible to the sitter's chin and cheek. The work is in overall good condition.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

Catalogue Note

La Veuve dates to the 1920s, an important decade in Lempicka's early career when she first established herself as the premiere artist of female portraits and nudes in Montparnasse. Recognised in particular for her images of the 'modern woman', Lempicka's depiction of this widow relates to a small series of highly stylised portraits of disadvantaged and grieving figures she painted into the 1930s.

In terms of style, Lempicka's works from this period may be linked both to the retour à l'ordre and the Art Deco aesthetics that pervaded European art at the time. As Ingrid Brugger discusses, 'Contemporary critics always remarked on the high degree of realism in De Lempicka's paintings. Looking more closely at her images of women, however, one cannot help but be struck by the fact that only in very specific cases does she create "recognisable" individuals. The generality of the body or of the face, the fundamental message inherent in them—in terms of both formal aesthetics and content—seems to take precedence' (Ingried Brugger, 'Sang-froid and Frenzy' in Tamara de Lempicka: Art Deco Icon (exhibition catalogue), Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2004, p. 35).