Credit: Google/Matthew Cruickshank
Tamara de Lempicka honored with Art Deco-inspired Google Doodle
Google is celebrating the birthday of Polish artist Tamara de Lempicka, who would have been 120 today. The search engine's latest "Doodle" shows the painter against a backdrop of life in the 1920s and 1930s, complete with geometric Art Deco flourishes.
Renowned for her hyper-stylized paintings, Lempicka is perhaps best known for the iconic self-portrait, "Tamara in the Green Bugatti." Her style combined the abstraction of cubism with the more conventional traditions of neoclassicism and portraiture.
Helping to define the era's art, her bold figures and unusual compositions were often tempered by soft lines and muted color palettes. Her portraits and erotic nudes featured members of the aristocracy -- and she became widely known as "The Baroness with a Brush," after marrying the Austro-Hungarian Baron Raoul Kuffner in 1934.
Celebrated during the earlier stages of her career, Lempicka's art featured on magazine covers and in high-profile exhibitions in Paris, where she lived between the two World Wars. Although the painter's Art Deco style fell out of fashion in the immediate post-war era, interest in her work was rekindled in the 1960s and has continued long after she died in 1980.
Lempicka's paintings regularly attract seven-figure sums at auction, with notable recent sales including "Le Rêve (Rafaëla Sur Fond Vert)," which went for $8.5 million in 2011, and "Portrait de Madame M," which sold for $6.1 million two years earlier.
The illustrator behind today's Doodle, Matthew Cruickshank, said that he was "struck by the scale and skill" of Lempicka's paintings, according to a Google page dedicated to the painter.
"Few artists embodied the exuberant roaring twenties more than than Polish artist Tamara de Lempicka," he explained. "Her fast paced, opulent lifestyle manifests itself perfectly into the stylized Art-Deco subjects she celebrated in her paintings."
First introduced in 1998, Google Doodle celebrates important events, holidays, anniversaries and historical figures. Other artists to have been honored in the last year include expressionist painter Paula Modersohn-Becker and the Indonesian artist Bagong Kussudiardja.