About the WorkThe wind blows a woman’s long, beautiful hair, entwined with dried autumn leaves. Is she a woman? Or is she a tiny wood nymph standing precariously on a fallen leaf? The colors of the painting of the autumn trees are very close to the shades of bronze – so also are the colors of Erté’s painting of the letter P close to those of the sculpture Autumn. The seasons have been subjects for works of art in all cultures throughout history, and they have fascinated Erté in all phases of his work. Erté thinks that autumn is the most dramatic of all the seasons. It is so beautiful and so sad. Besides this bronze sculpture, he has interpreted autumn in his sculpture The Hunting, in his suite of lithographs "The Four Seasons", and in various drawings and costumes.
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.