Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Art Blogging: Erté

Erte, born as Romain de Tirtoff (1892-1990), was a Russo-French Art Deco illustrator, sculptor and a fashion, stage, and costume designer. Erte studied under Repin and Laurens. The son of a senior Russian naval officer, he moved to Paris in 1912 to pursue an artistic career. He promptly began illustrating for Harper's Bazaar and designing costumes for stage productions. He was a roaring success during the 20s and 30s, and his career revived in the 1960s up until the end of this very long life.

Oriental Tale (1982). What I love about Erte was the passionate, fiery fluidity that makes no claims of subtlety. Each work speaks of uninhibited delight.

Duetto (1989). In his later years, Erte created many sculptures from his previous graphic work, such as this one, which embodies the grace which was Art Deco.

Erte is perhaps most recognized in the general public for an alphabetical series of anthropomorphic letters. This is, of course, the letter Z.

Erte created over 240 cover illustrations for Harper's Bazaar, including this mindbending example from 1938.


the reverend mommy said...

So Controversial!

John said...

Yes, that's true. He was openly gay loooong before it was publicly acceptable to do so. So was Tamara de Lempicka.