About the WorkThe rich detail and coloring of Erté’s bronze sculpture, "Ready for the Ball", combine to create a stunning and elegant masterpiece in the artist's distinctive Art Deco style.
This double image works splendidly as each figure stands atop an exquisitely designed bronze base detailed with square spirals. Each figure appears to represent the same woman, the first showing a slim bodice of gold cloth, with a long tasseled gold train falling from her shoulders. A black satin shirt is draped up to the bodice and pulled through a motif of jet and gold. It is a gown with a distinctly Egyptian flair.
Opposite stands an equally elegant figure, this time with a gorgeous wrap created to be worn with the gown on the opposite figure. The wrap simply consists of a pair of black satin sleeves, striped with gold and fastened to a rolled collar of gold and black
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.