Saturday, August 11, 2012


Blossom Umbrella
Serigraph on Paper
60 x 45cm
private collection

"I have always loved working at night. No one interrupts me. No telephone calls disturb my train of thought. I feel I have unlimited time. One bright lamp (its bluish light helps me to see the true colors) illuminates the drawing on which I am working." (Erte)

The Russian-born painter Romain de Tirtoff (1892 – 1990), who called himself Erté after the French pronunciation of his initials, R.T., was one of the foremost fashion and stage designers of the early twentieth century. He was a diversely-talented artist and designer who flourished in an array of fields, including fashion, jewelry, graphic arts, costume and set design for film, theater, and opera, and interior decor.

His legendary career spanned nearly the entire length of his 97 years of life. In 1912, Erte moved to Paris and his unique talent was immediately recognized by the city's most established couturiers. He designed the cover of Harper’s Bazaar for 22 years. The influence of his work as a result of the high visibility of Harper’s influenced an entire art movement that was to become known as "Art Deco" and he became known as "The Father of Art Deco".

Erté pursued his chosen career with unflagging zest and creativity for almost 80 years. The genius of him is evidenced by an enormous body of work that is considered among the most influential and unique of the 20th century. A lifetime of international success and recognition has ensured this unique artist's place in the annals of art history, and his original designs grace the permanent collections of prestigious museums throughout the world.
On his death in 1990, he was hailed as the "prince of the music hall" and "a mirror of fashion for 75 years".