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 Romain (Erte) De Tirtoff  (1892 - 1990)

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About: Romain (Erte) De Tirtoff
 

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Lived/Active: New York / Russian Federation/France      Known for: art-deco designs, magazine illustration, sculpture

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Ad Code: 3
Romaine (Erte) De Tirtof
from Auction House Records.
COSTUME DESIGN FOR THE FOURTH LANTERN BEARER IN VENISE AU XVIII SIÈCLE AT THE FOLIES BERGÈRE, PARIS
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from RoGallery.com:
Romain Erte was born Romain de Tirtoff in St. Petersburg, Russia.  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 he found in his father's library.  These exotic, brightly patterned designs continued to be important to him and influenced the development of his style.  He moved to Paris at the age of eighteen and took the name Erte, from the French pronunciation of his initials, R and T.

In 1915 he began his long relationship with Harper's Bazaar, during which time he created over 240 covers for the magazine. His fashion designs also appeared in many other publications, making him one of the most widely recognized artists of the 1920s.  He also designed costumes and sets for the theater.  In 1976 the French government awarded Erte the title of Officer of Arts and Letters, and in 1982 the Medaille de Vermeil de la Ville de Paris was bestowed upon him.  His work is in many prominent museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The designs created by Erté during his long and illustrious life influenced not only the world of theatre, film and fashion, but an entire art movement as well. The genius of the artist is evidenced by an enormous body of work that is considered among the most influential and unique of the 20th century. Erté—Romain de Tirtoff—was born in Russia in 1892, and died at age 97 in 1990. His legendary career spanned nearly the entire length of his life. In 1912, Erté moved to Paris and his unique talent was immediately recognized by the city’s most established couturiers. In 1915, he began an association with Harper’s Bazaar by designing covers of each of their magazines for the next 22 years. The influence of his work as a result of the high visibility of this periodical influenced an entire art movement that was to become known as “Art Deco”. Throughout this period, the artist also created original costume and fashion designs for many of the era’s most renowned screen actresses, including Joan Crawford, Lillian Gish, Marion Davies, Anna Pavlova, Norma Shearer and others. His creations for the stage included extravagent designs for productions at such venues as New York’s Radio City Music Hall, the Casino de Paris and the Paris Opera, as well as for the Folies-Bergères and George White’s Scandals.

a At the age of 75, Erté was encouraged to embark on a new career and began to recreate the remarkable designs of his youth in bronze and serigraphy. The Art Deco movement was hence reborn. 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 including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Institution and London’s Victoria & Albert Museum.

Erté is perhaps best remembered for the gloriously extravagant costumes and stage sets that he designed for the Folies-Bergère in Paris and George White's Scandals in New York, which exploit to the full his taste for the exotic and romantic, and his appreciation of the sinuous and lyrical human figure.

As well as the music-hall, Erté also designed for the opera and the traditional theatre, and spent a brief and not wholly satisfactory period in Hollywood in 1925, at the invitation of Louis B. Mayer, head of Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer.

After a period of relative obscurity in the 1940s and 1950s, Erté's characteristic style found a new and enthusiastic market in the 1960s, and the artist responded to renewed demand by creating a series of colorful lithographic prints and sculpture. This luxuriously illustrated museum contains a rich and representative selection of images, drawn from throughout Erté's long and extraordinary productive career.

Biography from GallArt.com:
Erte, Russian (1892- 1990)

Erte was born Romain de Tirtoff in St. Petersburg, Russia. 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 he found in his father's library. These exotic, brightly patterned designs continued to be important to him and influenced the development of his style. He moved to Paris at the age of eighteen and took the name Erte, from the French pronunciation of his initials, R and T.

In 1915 he began his long relationship with Harper's Bazaar, during which time he created over 240 covers for the magazine. His fashion designs also appeared in many other publications, making him one of the most widely recognized artists of the 1920s. He also designed costumes and sets for the theater. In 1976 the French government awarded Erte the title of Officer of Arts and Letters, and in 1982 the Medaille de Vermeil de la Ville de Paris was bestowed upon him. His work is in many prominent museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The designs created by Erté during his long and illustrious life influenced not only the world of theatre, film and fashion, but an entire art movement as well. The genius of the artist is evidenced by an enormous body of work that is considered among the most influential and unique of the 20th century. Erté—Romain de Tirtoff—was born in Russia in 1892, and died at age 97 in 1990. His legendary career spanned nearly the entire length of his life. In 1912, Erté moved to Paris and his unique talent was immediately recognized by the city’s most established couturiers. In 1915, he began an association with Harper’s Bazaar by designing covers of each of their magazines for the next 22 years. The influence of his work as a result of the high visibility of this periodical influenced an entire art movement that was to become known as “Art Deco”. Throughout this period, the artist also created original costume and fashion designs for many of the era’s most renowned screen actresses, including Joan Crawford, Lillian Gish, Marion Davies, Anna Pavlova, Norma Shearer and others. His creations for the stage included extravagent designs for productions at such venues as New York’s Radio City Music Hall, the Casino de Paris and the Paris Opera, as well as for the Folies-Bergères and George White’s Scandals.

At the age of 75, Erté was encouraged to embark on a new career and began to recreate the remarkable designs of his youth in bronze and serigraphy. The Art Deco movement was hence reborn. 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 including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Institution and London’s Victoria & Albert Museum.

Erté is perhaps best remembered for the gloriously extravagant costumes and stage sets that he designed for the Folies-Bergère in Paris and George White's Scandals in New York, which exploit to the full his taste for the exotic and romantic, and his appreciation of the sinuous and lyrical human figure.

As well as the music-hall, Erté also designed for the opera and the traditional theatre, and spent a brief and not wholly satisfactory period in Hollywood in 1925, at the invitation of Louis B. Mayer, head of Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer.

After a period of relative obscurity in the 1940s and 1950s, Erté's characteristic style found a new and enthusiastic market in the 1960s, and the artist responded to renewed demand by creating a series of colorful lithographic prints and sculpture. This luxuriously illustrated museum contains a rich and representative selection of images, drawn from throughout Erté's long and extraordinary productive career.

(Courtesy of Rogallery.com)

Biography from Doubletake Gallery:
The designs created by Erte during his long and illustrious life influenced not only the world of theatre, film and fashion, but an entire art movement as well.  The genius of the artist is evidenced by an enormous body of work that is considered among the most influential and unique of the 20th century.

Erte - Romain de Tirtoff - was born in Russia in 1892, and died at age 97 in 1990.  His legendary career spanned nearly the entire length of his life.  In 1912, Erte moved to Paris and his unique talent was immediately recognized by the city's most established couturiers.  In 1915, he began an association with Harper's Bazaar by designing covers of each of their magazines for the next 22 years.  The influence of his work as a result of the high visibility of this periodical influenced an entire art movement that was to become known as Art Deco.  Throughout this period, the artist also created original costume and fashion designs for many of the era's most renowned screen actresses, including Joan Crawford, Lillian Gish, Marion Davies, Anna Pavlova, Norma Shearer and others.  His creations for the stage included extravagent designs for productions at such venues as New York's Radio City Music Hall, the Casino de Paris and the Paris Opera, as well as for the Folies-Bergere and George White's Scandals.

At the age of 75, Erte was encouraged to embark on a new career and began to recreate the remarkable designs of his youth in bronze and serigraphy.  The Art Deco movement was hence reborn.  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 including New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Institution and London's Victoria & Albert Museum.

Biography from American Design Ltd.:
ERTÉ

Russian lithographer and serigrapher

Erté was born in 1892, Romain de Tiroff in St. Petersburg, Russia.  At the age of eighteen he persuaded his parents that his artistic future was in Paris.  Since then, France has been his home.  He adopted the name "Erté" from the French pronunciation of his Russian initials and entered the Parisian fashion world via Paul Poiret, one of the great couturiers of the time.

By 1915, Erté had signed with Harper's Bazaar to create the "Scherazade" cover and thus began his twenty-two year relationship with the magazine.  The early 1920's saw his fashion influence everywhere.  He was sought after by the chic, wealthy and beautiful.  At the same time he was creating stunning sets for "Folies-Bergere," "Ziegfield Follies," George White's "Scandals," "The Lido," and "Moulin Rouge", as well as designing costumes in Hollywood for MGM Studios.

His contribution to the art and culture of the Twenties was honored in Les Annees 25 exhibition at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris in 1966.  This was held in commemoration of the 1925 exhibit which presented the emergence of a new concept in fashion design and decorative art.

Erté's lithographs and serigraphs have been the occupation of recent years.  In 1978 the Circle Gallery published "The Twenties Remembered, Again" on the occasion of his 86th birthday.  A retrospective show was fully exhibited in two New York galleries. His largest collection, containing 200 pieces is permanently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

In 1976 the artist was awarded the title of "Officer of Arts and Letters" by the French government.

A documentary film of his life, "Erté-Or a Magician in the 20th Century" was released in 1979.


Biography from Fineartgasm.com:
Erte has often been called the father of Art Deco.  He defined it as the fusion of the curvilinear designs of Art Nouveau of the 19th Century with the Cubist, Constructivist, and geometrical designs of modernity.  He was also influenced by Persian miniatures and would often use a brush with a single hair to complete his gouache paintings.

His imagination was limitless, and Erte designed costumes, stage sets, jewelry, object d'arte, sculpture and ceramics.  Unlike many artists who work freely before a canvas or sketchpad, Erte developed his own unique process: he would visualize the entire work of art in his mind until it was completed to every detail, and then create the work from his "mind's eye."

Biography from Sunflower Fine Art Galleries, Mirrors, & Picture F:
The Russian-born painter Romain de Tirtoff, who called himself Erté after the French pronunciation of his initials, was one of the foremost fashion and stage designers of the early twentieth century.

From the sensational silver lamé costume, complete with pearl wings and ebony-plumed cap, that he wore to a ball in 1914, to his magical and elegant designs for the Broadway musical Stardust in 1988, Erté pursued his chosen career with unflagging zest and creativity for almost 80 years.

On his death in 1990, he was hailed as the "prince of the music hall" and "a mirror of fashion for 75 years".

Biography from The National Art Museum of Sport, Inc.:
Erte was born Romain de Tirtoff in 1892, in St. Petersburg, Russia, and is primarily known as an influential fashion illustrator and designer.

Erte began his fashion career at age six when his mother had a dress made from one of his first sketches. He left for Paris at the age of nineteen to pursue his career in the arts. The name Erte came into existence during these early days in Paris. Romain de Tirtoff was shortened to the acronym RT and, as pronounced in both French and Russian, became Erte.

His first assignment was to create costumes for the notorious Mata Hari; later he designed clothes for fashionable society women, movie stars such as Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer, sets for Hollywood films, and sets and costumes for the Follies Bergeres and the Paris Opera.

With the onset of World War I in Europe, many of the great fashion houses shut down and Erte was forced to turn to other design avenues. In 1915, Harper's Bazaar published his first cover design, launching his 22 year career with the magazine. His magazine covers helped to set the style that came to be known as Art Deco. His illustrations not only graced the covers, but filled the pages of the magazine as well. During these years, theatrical design consumed much of Erte's creative energy, including a brief stint in Hollywood with the MGM studio.

In the late sixties, the Metropolitan Museum of Art purchased an entire collection of 179 works from Erte's exhibition in New York.

At age 88, he began his work in bronze sculpture. Erte's artistic career continued until his death in 1990.

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Romain De Tirtoff is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Illustrators
Art Deco

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