Tamara de Lempicka remembered with Google Doodle – why is the Polish painter being honoured on her 120th birthday?


TAMARA de Lempicka thrilled the world in the 1920s and 30s with her bold and inventive works of art and earned the nickname "The Baroness with a Brush".

A Google Doodle is celebrating the iconic Polish painter on what would have been her 120th birthday – here is her story.

 Glamorous Tamara de Lempicka was nicknamed "The Baronness with a Brush"Getty – Contributor Glamorous Tamara de Lempicka was nicknamed "The Baronness with a Brush"

Who was Tamara de Lempicka?

Tamara de Lempicka was born Maria Górska on May 16, 1898, in Warsaw, Poland.

The daughter of a Russian Jewish lawyer and a Polish socialite, she made her first portrait of her younger sister at the age of 10.

Her love of art blossomed when she spent a summer in Italy with her grandmother, developing a love for the Italian Renaissance painters.

She travelled to Saint Petersburg in 1915 to visit a wealthy aunt following her parents' divorce, where she fell in love with Tadeusz Łempicki – they married the following year.

The Russian Revolution of 1917 made Lempicka and her husband refugees, and they fled from St Petersburg to Paris where the rest of her husband's family had sought refuge.

It was there that she began her formal artistic training at the height of post-cubism.

 The Google Doodle marking Lempicka on her 120th birthdayGoogle The Google Doodle marking Lempicka on her 120th birthday

She went on to document the 1920s in a truly unique style, blending elements of refined cubism with neoclassical elements.

Lempicka divorced Tadeusz in 1928 and met Baron Raoul Kuffner, becoming his mistress.

They went on to marry in 1934 following the death of his first wife, and her new position led to the coining of the nickname "The Baroness with a Brush".

It was in the 1930s that Lempicka's career reached its peak, and she developed a penchant for glamorous celebrity portraits and her highly stylised nudes.

 Lempicka's career reached its glamorous peak in the 1930sGetty – Contributor Lempicka's career reached its glamorous peak in the 1930s

During this period she painted the likes of King Alfonso XIII of Spain and Queen Elizabeth of Greece.

Following the outbreak of World War II, the couple moved to the USA, settling first in Beverly Hills and later in New York.

Baron Kuffner died in 1961 after suffering a heart attack on an ocean liner, and his widow sold many of her possessions and travelled the world by ship.

In 1963 Lempicka moved to Houston, Texas, to be with her only child, a daughter called Kizette from her first marriage.

The artist later moved to Cuernavaca, Mexico, where she died in her sleep on March 18, 1980 – she was 81 years old.

 Lempicka's love of art was honed as a teenager on a trip to ItalyGetty – Contributor Lempicka's love of art was honed as a teenager on a trip to Italy

What is a Google Doodle?

In 1998, the search engine founders Larry and Sergey drew a stick figure behind the second 'o' of Google as a message to that they were out of office at the Burning Man festival and with that, Google Doodles were born.

The company decided that they should decorate the logo to mark cultural moments and it soon became clear that users really enjoyed the change to the Google homepage.

 Google celebrated the Autumn Equinox with a themed doodleGoogle Google celebrated the Autumn Equinox with a themed doodle

In that same year, a turkey was added to Thanksgiving and two pumpkins appeared as the 'o's for Halloween the following year.

Now, there is a full team of doodlers, illustrators, graphic designers, animators and classically trained artists who help create what you see on those days.

Among the Doodles published in in 2017 were ones commemorating German scientist Robert Koch, Jan Ingenhousz (who discovered photosynthesis) and the 50th anniversary of kids coding languages being introduced.

Earlier in the year, the search giant celebrated the 2017 Autumn Equinox , which marked the official ending of summer and the coming of autumn.

The history of Google Doodles, what they are and where they came from


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