Tamara de Lempicka (1898-1980)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION 
Tamara de Lempicka (1898-1980)

Ville des rochers I

Details
Tamara de Lempicka (1898-1980)
Ville des rochers I
signed 'DE LEMPICKA' (lower right)
oil on canvas
13 3/4 x 10 1/4 in. (35 x 26.2 cm.)
Painted circa 1947
Provenance
Private collection, by 1987.
Anonymous sale, Hôtel Drouot, 9 December 1989, lot 83.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Literature
M. Vaux, Fonds Lempicka, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 1972.
A. Blondel, Tamara de Lempicka, Catalogue raisonné, 1921-1979, Lausanne, 1999, no. B.275, p. 345 (illustrated).
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
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Antoine Lebouteiller
Antoine Lebouteiller

Lot Essay

Painted circa 1947, Ville des rochers is one of a pair of paintings that Tamara de Lempicka created in response to the atrocities and trauma caused by the Second World War. In a surprising departure from Lempicka’s portraits and still-life works, Ville des rochers resorts to an unprecedented surreal style, presenting the vision of an imagined landscape. Jagged rocks and stalactites form an uninhabitable landscape. The vertical, trunk-like forms in the foreground are reminiscent of the legs of a figure, in which the scarred, eroded rock seems to evoke the bones, muscles and ligaments. The hallucinatory quality of this seemingly decomposing, inhospitable landscape is illustrative of Lempicka’s reaction to the terrifying horrors that had befallen Europe during the war. At the time Ville des rochers was painted, Lempicka was living in the United States, where she had moved to in 1939, just before the invasion of Poland by Hitler’s armies, and the subsequent outbreak of war. Of Polish birth, Lempicka was deeply concerned by the plight of the people of her native country, and during her stay in America the artist became involved with war-relief work, donating time and money for the benefit of Polish as well as British people. Ville des rochers demonstrates Lempicka’s subjective, artistic response to the fearsome trauma of war and the immeasurable destruction and loss of human life it had caused.

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