A Sculpture. 

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See all original artwork by Romain De Tirtoff Erte



     Romain De Tirtoff created his nom-de-brosse, “Erté”, from the French pronunciation of his initials. Born in St. Petersburg, the son of a Russian admiral, Erté was interested in art from childhood. After studying painting under Ilya Repin, he moved to Paris in 1912, and quickly became caught up in the fashion world. Joining the House of Poiret, he developed an intuitive sense of the unlimited possibilities of dress, and applied his fantasies to fashion, costume design for theatre, opera, the film industry and musical comedy.

    Embarking on his own career, he illustrated his ideas in highly decorative and imaginative paintings that helped define the new Art Deco look. In 1915, he signed a ten-year exclusive contract to do all the covers for Harper’s Bazar (later renewed for another ten years), and continued to design costumes for international clients from Hollywood to the Folies Bergère in Paris. He became involved with every part of production from set designs to costumes and accessories even to shoes, umbrellas, mirrors and floral arrangements. He helped create the spectacular effects for the George White Scandals, the Ziegfeld Follies, and several movies with Louis B. Mayer. Among his later projects were the design of a ballet for television and the creation of sets and costumes for Rossini’s Barber of Seville in 1945. In 1967, an exhibition of 170 of his works was entirely bought out by the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. His autobiography was published in his eighties, and he continued producing up until his death at 98.