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About the Work
Based on the fashion designs for Harper’s Bazaar in April of 1920, "Flower Petal Gown" shows the tender side of Art Deco Design. Erte created this graphic with flowing lines and soft curves, embellished with a border of petals and blooms that echoes the flowers in her hand and on her gown.
The release of the 'Flower Petal Gown” graphic follows the release of the bronze sculpture. The blue color scheme of the graphic was modified by Erté for the sculpture in salmon pink and rose hues. Each piece captures the young woman's expression as she inhales the fragrance of one single flower, lost in a moment of natural beauty. The serigraph is embossed with specially handcrafted embossing plates and overprinted with hot-stamped gold foil under great pressure, to create the three-dimensional effects that Erté demanded- a process that had never before been used in the art industry.
Erté created his very first dress design, for his mother, when he was five years old. His mother liked it so much she commissioned her dressmaker to make that dress, and thus Erté’s fashion design career was born. He developed his distinctive Art Deco style through theater, costume, and fashion design, which led to the production of his serigraph prints and bronze sculpture.
Erté contributed over 2,500 images to 264 issues of Harper's Bazaar, the leading fashion publication of its day, from January 1915 to December 1936. His long association with the magazine represents one of the most important venues for his immense creativity.
Erté’s bronze sculptures are cast in the lost wax method and finished with hand polished embellishments. The serigraph prints arc printed with gold foil and embossed. This had never been done before Erte and has not been done since.
"Flower Petal Gown" bears the gold hot-stamped signature of Erté indicating his approval of the final print as described in Erté: The Last Works.
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.