About the Work
Cabaret was initially created as a costume design for a 1940 production entitled Ein Walzertraum (A Waltz Dream), an operetta by Oscar Straus. The operetta is based on the novella Nur der Prinzgemahl (Only the Prince Consort) by Hans Milller-Einingen from his 1905 book Buch der Abenteuer (Book of Adventures). The Smiling Lieutenant, a 1931 American film produced by Paramount Pictures, is based on the novella. Actors Maurice Chevalier, Claudette Colbert, Miriam Hopkins, Charles Ruggles, and George Barbier starred in the romantic comedy about the love of a Princess for a soldier, and the love of the soldier for another woman.
"Cabaret" is a 7 x 15 1/4 x 22 3/8 - inch sculpture cast in bronze using the lost wax process.
About the Artist
Erté was born Romain de Tirtoff in St. Petersburg, Russia on November 23rd, 1892 and was raised amidst Russia's social elite. At the age of five he created an evening gown for his mother and managed to persuade the adults to craft it, they were astounded by the results. In 1912, Romain left St. Petersburg for Paris at the age of nineteen with the aim of becoming an artist. After working with Paul " Le Magnifique" Poiret on several theatrical productions Romain, still under the pseudonym of Erte, began to work more independently. He hand-crafted original costume and fashion designs for many of the era’s most renowned actresses, including Joan Crawford, Lillian Gish, Marion Davies, Anna Pavlova, Norma Shearer, and others. His masterpieces for the stage included extravagant production designs at venues such as New York’s Radio City Music Hall, the Casino de Paris, and the Paris Opera. In 1915 he began his long professional relationship with Harper's Bazaar and created 240 covers for the esteemed magazine. For 6 months in 1916, Erté simultaneously worked with Vogue as well. As a result of his highly publicized success, Erté would later be called the father of the ‘Art Deco’ movement.