On May 16, 1898, Maria Gorska was born to wealthy parents in Warsaw, Poland. She married a Russian lawyer and socialite named Tadeusz Lempicki in 1914. The Lempickis fled from the Russian Revolution to Paris, where she became known as Tamara de Lempicka. In France, she quickly established a reputation as a portrait painter.
Her style is very distinctive in its hard, yet streamlined elegance. It has a sense of chic decadence and Tamara de Lempicka, better than anyone else, represents the Art Deco style. Her subjects are mainly erotic nudes and calla lilies, that is, aside from her portraits.
She received critical acclaim and quickly became a social celebrity, which continued after she moved to the United States in 1939 in Hollywood and New York. By the 1950s, her Art Deco style was going out of fashion, so she tried to paint in a much looser style, which was not received well. Later in the 1970s, her earlier artwork began to revive itself. She passed away on March 18, 1980 in her sleep and by the 1990s she had become a stylish icon. During the 1990s her paintings were being purchased for huge prices and featured as a symbol of the high life in television advertisements.