But before turning to painting, Lempicka met a young lawyer in Saint Petersburg, Tadeusz Lempicki. She was still a teenager when they married in 1916 and had a daughter, Kizette. Parties replete with champagne and caviar defined the early days of their marriage, but the Russian Revolution brought frivolities to a fast close in 1917. After Lempicki was jailed, then released at Lempicka’s insistent urging, the family fled to Denmark and finally landed in Paris the following year.
In Paris, Lempicki was out of work and depressed, and while Lempicka sold all of her jewels, their spoils quickly ran dry. She turned to her sister, Adrienne, who had also relocated to Paris and taken up the garçonne lifestyle, enrolling herself in architecture school. She gave Lempicka blunt advice: Find a career, so you don’t have to rely on your husband. Lempicka would later recall that she went out to buy paper and sable brushes on the spot.