Portrait of Ira Perrot by Tamara de Lempicka


Portrait of Ira Perrot


Tamara de Lempicka

Ref RX81524-D1
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At the height of the Art Deco era Tamara de Lempicka was at once a member of the aristocracy of Paris and an impassioned recorder of its extravagant characters. Lempicka's portraits are as dramatic as they are intimate. Her paintings "perfectly document the time and very fine emotional caricatures that capture exactly the right flash of arrogance, hypochondriacal tic, or seductive challenge. None of which was surprising, because she was one of them. She understood them, how they felt, what they thought, whom they feared. She knew them, both the men and the women--often intimately. Lempicka's attraction to glamour and sensual elegance is typified in the portrait of Ira Perrot, the artist's close friend and purported lover. Draped in a clinging white satin gown, Ira leans seductively against the edge of the picture holding a bouquet of arum flowers, a favorite of Lempicka's, and a billowing red shawl which echoes her vermillion lips and fingernails. In portraiture, from antiquity to today, flowers have often served as a symbol of the romantic appeal and erotic allure of the sitter. Indeed, Ira's lily-white dress accentuates her soft form, the outline of her navel and belly plainly visible as though she were nude. She appears sexy yet aloof. Ira's body turns toward the viewer, but her eyes look elsewhere, seemingly unaware of the voyeuristic gaze that her pose invites. Ira is as classically beautiful and exotic as the flowers she holds and like the flowers, she too is in full bloom. Ira Perrot was a young, wealthy married woman. No friend or family member, appears as often in Tamara's paintings as Ira does but the two women became estranged during the 1930s and never saw each other again.