Lost Tamara de Lempicka masterpiece to sell at Sotheby’s

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2015-06-26 10:37:52

Lost Tamara de Lempicka masterpiece to sell at Sotheby’s

27 Mar 2012, 12:43 GMT+01

A previously lost Art Deco masterpiece will feature in an upcoming Sotheby’s sale in New York.

‘Nu adossé I’ by the groundbreaking Polish artist Tamara de Lempicka will appear at auction for the first time in its history, having vanished in 1925 after appearing in the artist’s solo exhibition at the Bottegia di Poesia gallery in Milan.

De Lempicka’s catalogue raisonné was published in 1999, and included an image of the painting taken at the Milan exhibition in 1925. It listed the work as “location unknown.”

For more than 85 years the work’s whereabouts remained a mystery, until its present owner contacted Sotheby’s in 2011. He had purchased the painting 10 years previously, but had no idea of its significance until he was advised by an art consultant to contact the auction house.

Tamara de Lempicka is regarded as one of the most significant female artists of the 1920s, and a leading figure in the Bohemian Paris art scene that included contemporaries such as Pablo Picasso.

She is considered one of the first true female art ‘superstars’ of the period, and in recent years her work has become highly sought after. The record price for her work was broken twice in 2011; first in June when her 1930 work ‘La dormeuse’ sold for $6.6 million, then once again when the 1927 painting ‘Le rêve’ sold for $8.5 million.

Both these record-breaking sales took place at Sotheby’s, and the company will be hoping that the painting’s mysterious history and sudden appearance will help it achieve a further record price on May 2 in New York.

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