Tamara de Lempicka, “Nana de Herrera”

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Tamara de Lempicka, Nana de Herrera, 1929, oil on canvas, 121 x 64 cm, Private Collection

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Tamara de Lepicka working on the portrait. Nana is awkwardly posed, and the result is unflattering to her subject.

The painting is in the collection of Madonna, London

Nana de Herrara, 1905-1991, was a Spanish flamenco dancer, and, at the time of the portrait, the mistress of Baron Kuffner, a rich Polish business man. He was an enthusiastic collector of Lempicka’s paintings, and he commissioned her to paint a portrait of Nana. Tamara took her place in the Baron’ affections, and the portrait remained in the hands of the dancer, who sold it in 1970. Tamara and Raoul were married after her divorce from her first husband Tadeusz de Lempicki.

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Tamara de Lempicka, Portrait of Baron Raoul Kuffner, 1932, oil on canvas, 36 x 27 cm, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

In about 1940, Nana met Pere Creixams, 1893=1965, a self taught Catalan painter living in Paris, and they had a child, Ramón.

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Pere Creixams, Portrait of La Goulue, 1928, oil on canvas, Private Collection

La Goulue was a dancer at Le Moulin Rouge in Paris, and perhaps better known from the work of Toulouse-Lautrec.

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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, La Goulue, 1891, lithograph, 191 x 117 cm, Private Collection

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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, La Goulue arrivant au Moulin Rouge, 1892, oil on cardboard, 79 x 59, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, UK

The style and grace of Nana inspired many artists to produce her image

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Joël Martel, Nana de Herrera, Poster, 1926

She is perhaps best known today for her silhouette by Max Ponty  that is still in use today on the Gitanes Blonde cigarette packet.

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She later had a brief career as an actress, appearing in films of the 1940s and 1950s.

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