Erte (1892-1990)

Russian born artist and designer Romain de Tirtoff, pseudonym Erte, a French pronunciation of the initials R.T., was an accomplished artist and designer. He is most famous for his elegant fashion designs that capture the art deco period in which he worked. Erte s delicate figures and fashionable designs are recognizable even in the 21st century.

In 1912, while living in Paris, Erte was signed with the journal Harper s Bazaar where he continued to produce fashion drawings for the next 22 years. Erte s best-known image is Symphony in Black, which depicts a slender woman draped in black holding a thin, black dog. This image has been reproduced countless times.

Erte had a career revival in the 1960s when the Art Deco movement was in full force and Erte branched out into limited edition prints, bronzes and art as clothing, becoming unquestionably one of the foremost fashion and stage designers of the early 20th century.

Works by Erte can be found in museums around the world and his style has been much copied and emulated, as in The Peacock Dancer. Erte s taste for the exotic and romantic as well as his appreciation for the lyrical and sinuous human figure can be seen in his originals as well as in homage.


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