Erté (Romain de Tirtoff)

Born: 1892, St Petersburg
Died: 1990, Paris

Painter, graphic artist, sculptor, applied artist, fashion and theatrical designer. Born as Roman Tyrtov in the family of Pyotr Tyrtov in St Petersburg (1892). Studied drawing under D. Losevsky in Petersburg (1910). Lived in Paris (from 1912), studying at the Académie Rodolphe Julian and collaborating with fashion designer Paul Poiret. Worked in the theatres of Paris and wrote for the Ladies’ Fashion magazine in St Petersburg. Published Indian ink paintings under the surname “Erté” in Ladies’ World and Gazette du Bon Ton magazines. Influenced by the painting of ancient vases. Lived in Monaco (from 1914) and the United States, where he worked for such leading fashion houses as Henri Willis Bendel, Benjamin Altman and Liechtenstein. Worked for Harper’s Bazaar (1915–37) and drew for magazines in the United States, Great Britain and France. Worked in an Art Deco style. Designed textiles, clothing, footwear and accessories (1920s–30s) and sets and costumes for the Folies Bergeres in Paris and music halls in New York (1917–30) and Metro-Goldwin-Meyer (1920s). Worked for theatres in Paris, New York, Chicago and other cities, designing for opera, drama and variety productions (1930s). Took up sculpture (1964). Painted pictures, designed luxury items and worked for the theatre and fashion magazines (1960s). Died in Paris (1990). Held one-man shows in New York (1925, 1929, 1968–73, 1985), Brussels (1927), Paris (1929, 1964, 1969–73), London (1967, 1969–73), Chicago (1969–73), Mexico (1969–73), Parma (1969–73), Milan (1969–73), Rome (1969–73) and Palermo (1969–73).

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