The sitter in the present work is set against a sky-blue background with a white turban wrapped around his head, wearing a traditional gold-trimmed robe. The face is distinguished by stark chiaroscuro, which delineates the angularity in the protagonist’s features with bold contours. This kind of stylistic geometry reflects the artist’s progressive attitude towards form and portraiture. Indien à Turban is a rare and insightful work which belongs to Lempicka’s series of portraits with a strong art-deco influence. With its exceptional technical quality, the smooth and brilliant rendering of the colours, the painting is an elegant development of the artist’s take on Cubism where the shapes and composition are carefully measured in a pleasing and harmonious balance. As noted by the artist’s daughter, ‘What she painted had a smooth polish, an icy perfection that detached her subjects from reality, that made them archetypal… Beneath the paintings’ satin and porcelain surfaces, beneath the icing, passion smouldered, hinted at by the fullness of her volumes, by the violent outbursts of reds, blues, greens’ (quoted in Baroness Kizette de Lempicka-Foxhall, Passion by Design, The Art and Times of Tamara de Lempicka, New York, 1987, p. 84).
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