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Tadeusz Lempitski (Portrait of a Man, Unfinished)

Painting, 1928, 130×81 cm

Description of the artwork «Tadeusz Lempitski (Portrait of a Man, Unfinished)»

The portrait of Tadeusz Lempicki is a peculiar metaphor of marriage for the heady artist and Polish aristocrat. Paying incomparably more attention to his creation than to the portraits of other men (Tamara liked to draw women much more strongly), Lempitsk’s left hand would leave the unfinished left hand — he wore a wedding ring on it.

From the ball to the ship

And their life together began as in a fairy tale. Sixteen-year-old Tamara fell in love with the most beautiful bachelor of Warsaw - a young lawyer Tadeusz Lempitski. Like the future artist, he spent a lot of time in St. Petersburg, where their romance began.

While still a very young person, Tamara was already eccentric, determined, and knew exactly what to do to achieve what she wanted. At one of the capital's masquerade balls, she appeared in a peasant's attire, and accompanied by a pair of geese on a gilded leash. She was hard not to notice, turned his gaze on the girl and Tadeusz.

In 1916, lovers with great fanfare celebrated their wedding, in the same year their daughter Kizett was born. But happiness was fleeting: it was destroyed by the revolution. Tadeush was arrested by the Chekists, and in order to free her husband from the dungeons, Tamara had to use her diplomatic ties (according to one version - to give in to the advances of the Swedish consul in order to get her foreign passport and take out of Russia).

But several months spent in prison broke Tadeusz. From a brilliant dandy, he turned into a depressing grouch, not leaving the sofa of a cheap hotel room in Paris, where they moved in the summer of 1918. When the funds earned by Tamara from selling the last jewels began to end, she had to recall the painting lessons she took as a child.

There would be no happiness, but misfortune helped: so the revolution, the arrest of her husband and his inability to adapt to new realities showed the world a brilliant diva of art deco Tamara Lempitska.

From dirt to the baroness

While the artist's reputation was gaining momentum, attracting more and more new customers, her ties also grew rapidly. And in them, according to the recollections of her own daughter, Lempitska was not particularly picky. She willingly tied romance with both blue-blooded men and women whom she could meet literally on the street.

The endless adventures of his wife did not suit Tadeusz, and during his trip to Poland, he did not lose his former attractiveness and charmed a promising girl for marriage - the daughter of the owner of the largest pharmaceutical factory, Irena Spiss. Tamara was not ready to give up so quickly, because she still loved him, no matter what. The artist visited Warsaw three times in order to return her spouse, but in vain - in 1928 he filed a divorce and stayed there forever.

Lempitska was experiencing a hard break and felt deeply unhappy. "I am a lady? Not! I am a miserable creature, tormented, without a homeland, without roots, always lonely "- she complained to her next heart friend - Italian architect Gino Puglisi. Her genuine feelings for her ex-husband were reflected in Tadeusz’s portrait. Few of the men came out from under the brush Lempitskaya so spectacular and courageous. Images of the rest were often unattractive and even somewhat caricature - it does not matter, she wrote the princegreat princeor marquise.

Of course, a woman like Tamara could not mourn the collapse of her marriage for a long time, and in the very same year she acquired a new rich and influential patron — Baron Raoul Kuffner. But that's another story.

The author: Natalia Azarenko
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About the artwork

This artwork was added since it is referred to in the materials below

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Portrait

Style of art: Art Deco

Technique: Oil, Pencil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1928

Size: 130×81 cm

Artwork in selections: 8 selections