First ever Lempicka painting to be auctioned in Poland estimated to fetch 4-6 mln PLN
A portrait by Tamara de Lempicka, the first painting by her to be auctioned in Poland, is set to go for an eye-watering 4-6 million złoty.
Painted around 1951, after Lempicka’s move to the US, the portrait entitled “Czytająca I” in Polish (or “La Liseuse I” in French) shows a woman in a white bonnet holding a book, its pages open.
Her richly-coloured clothes – a red blouse, green skirt and yellow cloth draped over her knees – have a silky, fluid quality to them.
Elegant furniture and paintings can be seen in the background.
The oil on canvas painting measuring 79.5 cm by 56.2 cm and signed T. de Lempicka, is a scene from Lempicka’s own apartment on East 57th Street in New York, not far from Central Park, which she moved into with her husband in 1942.
Lempicka was born Tamara Rozalia Gurwik-Górska in Warsaw in 1898.
As a young woman, she moved to Paris with her husband, Polish lawyer called Tadeusz Łempicki, where she started painting to support the family financially.
After studying at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and selling her first pieces at Parisian galleries, she went on to become the most fashionable portraitist in Paris.
After the outbreak of World War II, she and her second husband moved to the United States, where she continued to paint.
She died in Cuernavaca, Mexico, in 1980.
The first session of the auction at DESA Unicum, the biggest and oldest auction house in Poland, will be held on 10 December at 19.00.