Erté is the master of the Art Deco style. His fashion designs frequently appeared in “Art et Industrie,” “L’Illustration,” “Femina,” “Le Gaulois Artistique,” “Plaisir de France,” “The Sketch” and “Illustrated London News.” In 1929, Erté contributed an article on fashion to the 14th edition of The Encyclopedia Brittanica. Erté’s contribution to the art of the Twenties was honored in the important exhibition, “Les Annes 25” at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris in 1996. It commemorated the famous exhibition of 1925, which revealed the emergence of a new concept in fashion design, art and decoration.
ABOUT THE ARTIST – A man of infinite talents, Erté has enthralled audiences for seven decades with his elegant and imaginative designs. His work in the field of fashion, art, illustration, costume, stage and jewelry design has been constantly breathtaking in its vision, originality and beauty. Today, Erté is widely recognized as one of the world’s most extraordinary artistic geniuses.
He was born Romain de Tirtoff in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1892. The only son of an admiral in the Imperial Fleet, he was raised amidst Russia’s social elite. As a young boy, he was fascinated by the Persian miniatures that he studied almost daily in his father’s library. These exotic, brightly-patterned designs, and the incisive lines of the Greek vase paintings that he saw at the Hermitage Museum, were important sources for his unique style as an artist. At the age of 18, he moved to Paris, convinced that his future lay in this center of art and fashion. Taking the name “Erté” from the French pronunciation of the “R” and “T” initials of his Russian name, he entered the field of fashion through the doors of Paul Poiret, one of the most respected couturiers of the time. In 1915, Erté began his 22-year-long relationship with Harper’s Bazaar, when he created “Scheherazade,” the first of 240 covers which he contributed to the magazine. His designs were sought by the rich, the fashionable, and the famous, including Mata Hari, Anna Pavlova, Mrs. William Randolph Hearst and Norma Shearer.
Erté fashion designs also frequently appeared in “Art et Industrie,” “L’Illustration,” “Femina,” “Le Gaulois Artistique,” “Plaisir de France,” “The Sketch” and “Illustrated London News.” In 1929, Erté contributed an article on fashion to the 14th edition of The Encyclopedia Brittanica. Erté’s contribution to the art of the Twenties was honored in the important exhibition, “Les Annes 25” at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris in 1996. It commemorated the famous exhibition of 1925, which revealed the emergence of a new concept in fashion design, art and decoration.
The Eugene O’Neill Foundation honored Erté at a gala “Broadway’s in Fashion,” in New York in 1978. The same year, the Boston Center for the Arts mounted an exhibition of costumes designed for the “Latin Quarter.” In 1980, Erté designed costumes and sets for the prestigious Glyndebourne Opera Company’s performance of “Der Rosenkavalier.” In 1986, the artist designed the costumes for the Los Angeles production of the play “Anatole.” The French government awarded Erté the prestigious title, “Officer of Arts and Letters,” in 1976, and, in 1982, the Medaille de Vermeil de la Ville de Paris was bestowed upon him. A French film company released the documentary, “Erté – Or A Magician In The 20th Century,” in 1979. Erté has also inspired a television special by CBS-TV, as well as numerous books, including Charles Spencer’s “Erté” (F.M. Ricci, 1972). Detailed articles on Erté and his art have also been featured in numerous periodicals and newspapers, including “Arts Magazine,” and “The Washington Post.”
Additional Information: Born: 1892 Birthplace: St. Petersburg, Russia Died: 1990
1980-present Dyansen and Merrill Chase Galleries, USA
1986 “75 Ans de Création, 1911-1986,” retrospective, Paris
“” The most gratifying feeling I experienced as I entered my nineties came from the immediate success of my sculpture collection, and the realization that I have touched the lives of so many art collectors who otherwise might never have known this phase of my work.” –Erté
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