1 More

Roses dans un vase

Roses dans un vase
oil on canvas
51 x 41 cm. (20 1⁄8 x 16 1⁄8 in.)
Painted circa 1952
Enrique de la Medina-Caraza, Cuernavaca, Mexico (acquired directly from the artist in 1955), by decent; Christie's New York, 16 February 1989, lot 62
Sydelle & Henry Ostberg, New Jersey (acquired from the above sale); Sotheby's New York, 5 November 2014, lot 409
Private Collection, Europe (acquired from the above sale); Christie’s London, 1 March 2017, lot 416
Private collection, by whom acquired at the above sale
A. Blondel, Tamara de Lempicka, Catalogue raisonné 1921-1979, Lausanne, 1999, no. B.317, p. 364 (illustrated).
Rome, Complesso del Vittoriano, Tamara de Lempicka, The Queen of Modern, March - July 2011, no. 77 (illustrated p.315).

Brought to you by

Emmanuelle Chan
Emmanuelle Chan Associate Vice President, Specialist, Head of Day and Online Sales

Lot Essay

'I was the first woman who did clear painting— and that was the success of my painting. Among a hundred paintings, you could recognise mine. And the galleries began to put me in the best rooms, always in the centre, because my painting attracted people. It was neat, it was finished.' – Tamara de Lempicka

Celebrated not only as one of the most successful female artists of her time to this day, but as a chic hostess and glamorous party-goer, Lempicka reached the height of her fame in the 1930s. The professional and social aspects of her life were inextricably intertwined, centred on her specially designed Art Deco atelier at 7, rue Méchain in the 14th arrondissement All these qualities enhanced her reputation as the most visible female artist to emerge during les années folles, the post-Great War, pre-Depression era of conspicuous glamour and extravagance. Combining stylistic traits drawn from French Cubism, post-war Purism and Neo-Classicism, her own study of early Italian masters, and showing her awareness of contemporary realist trends in Germany, Lempicka forged her own boldly cosmopolitan, classical figure style.

Painted in 1952, Tamara de Lempicka’s Roses dans un vase presents a rare departure from the artist’s famed portraits in the form of an abundant bouquet of colourful roses, evoking a sense of romance and desire. This subject, portrayed on a rare occasions by the artist, relates to her wider oeuvre in its distinctive style of execution, in bold, planes with sophisticated chiaroscuro is reminiscent of the artist’s best known work from the early-1930s. The flower theme, most often in the form of white Arum-lilies, can be seen in some of her most prominent works, featuring a soft echo of the pristine skin of her models. The sense of clear, porcelain flesh here is referenced in the colourful petals, which further reference skin tones, in this sophisticated still life rendering.

The formal structure of the vase itself, revealing modulated tones of the grey background, reference the cool and steely tones of backgrounds featuring the steely modern metropolis for which she made her name. Depicting its perfect transparency, Lempicka expresses her incredible skill in depicting the vase, informed by her study of the Old Master Paintings she so revered.

More from 20th Century Art Day Sale

View All
View All