Google doodle: Polish painter de Lempicka commemorated

Search giant Google on Wednesday paid tribute to Polish Art Deco artist Tamara de Lempicka on the 120th anniversary of her birth.

She never had a green Bugatti, yet her “Tamara in a green Bugatti” became an icon of the roaring 1920s.

Tamara de Lempicka, a world-famous art deco painter was born as Maria Górska in 1898.

In 2009, Ms Lempicka’s oil on canvas “Portrait de Madame M” sold for USD 6.135 million. In one of her famous quotes, Ms Lempicka explained her own success as based on the fact that she was the first woman “to paint cleanly.” Her painting was “precise” it was “finished.”

A strong believer in creating one’s own fate, de Lempicka used to say, “there are no miracles, there is only what you make.”

Through the revenue of her art sales, she enjoyed the life she always wanted, filled with decadence and romance amongst the society’s upper-classes. A life that was en par with her art: vibrant and colorful, filled with scandals and splendor in equal measure.

Following the Russian Revolution she moved from St. Petersburg to France where she took up painting with an intent to make money. She divorced her first husband after nearly a decade in 1928, becoming first mistress and later wife of Baron Raoul Kuffner. By 1934 she became known as “The Baroness with a Brush.”

She had one daughter from her first marriage, Kizette.

Throughout her life she lived in Poland, Russia, France, United States and Mexico.

Matthew Cruickshank who created the commemorative Google Doodle – featured on the search engine’s home page on Wednesday – explained that de Lempicka personified her era, more than any other visual artist.

“I first encountered Lempicka’s work at her Royal Academy show in London, 2004. I was struck by the scale and skill of her paintings coupled with her life (as colorful as her work!). I chose to place a portrait of Lempicka in my design with accompanying motifs evocative of the roaring 1920s and 1930s,” Mr. Cruickshank was quoted as saying.

Among the collectors of de Lempicka’s art are celebrities such as Madonna, Jack Nicholson or Barbra Streisand

Following de Lempicka’s death in 1980 her ashes were scattered over the Mexican volcano of Popocatepetl.