“Art Deco, of course, is the confluence of Cubism and Art Nouveau.”
(Romain de Tirtoff)
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 Erte is evidenced by an enormous body of work that is considered among the most influential and unique of the 20th century.
The legendary career of Erte 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, Erte 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, Erte also created original costume and fashion designs for many of the era’s renowned screen actresses, including Joan Crawford, Lillian Gish, Marion Davies, Norma Shearer and others. His creations for the stage included extravagant 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, 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 has ensured this unique artist’s place in the history of art. The original designs by Erte 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.