French designer and illustrator
Common clues: Folies Bergere
designer; One-named artist; Romain de Tirtoff, familiarly;
Harper's Bazaar illustrator; Art deco artist; Ziegfeld Follies
9 times a year
have always loved working at night. No one interrupts me. No
telephone calls disturb my train of thought. I feel I have
unlimited time. One bright lamp (its bluish light helps me to see
the true colors) illuminates the drawing on which I am working. ~
de Tirtoff (pseudonym Erté,
a French pronunciation of initials R.T.)
(November 23, 1892 - 1990) was a French artist and designer.
Tirtoff was born as Roman Petrovich Tyrtov in St. Petersburg,
Russian Empire in a very distinguished family with roots traced
back to 1548. His father Pyotr Ivanovich Tyrtov was a Fleet
Admiral. In 1910-1912 Romain gradually moved to Paris to pursue a
career of a designer. This decision was made over strong
objections of his father, who wanted Romain to continue a family
tradition and to become a marine officer. Romain assumed the
pseudonym to avoid disgracing the family. In 1915 he got his
first significant contract with Harper's Bazaar magazine.
is perhaps most famous for his elegant fashion designs which
capture the art deco period in which he worked. One of his
earliest successes was designing apparel for the French dancer
Gaby Deslys who died in 1920. His delicate figures and
sophisticated, glamorous designs are instantly recognisable, and
his ideas and art still influence fashion into the 21st century.
His costumes, programme designs, and sets were featured in the
Ziegfeld Follies of 1923, many productions of the Folies Bergère,
and George White's Scandals. On Broadway, the celebrated French
chanteuse Irène Bordoni wore Erté's designs.
1925, Louis B. Mayer brought him to Hollywood to design sets and
costumes for the silent film Paris. There were many script
problems, so Erté was given other assignments to keep him
busy. Hence, he designed for such films as Ben-Hur, The Mystic,
Time, The Comedian, and Dance Madness. In 1920 he designed the
set and costumes for the movie Restless Sex starring Marion
Davies and financed by William Randolph Hearst.
far his best known image is Symphony
depicting a tall, slender woman draped in black holding a thin
black dog. The influential image has been reproduced and copied
continued working throughout his life, designing revues, ballets,
and operas. He had a major rejuvenation and much lauded interest
in his career during the 1960s with the Art Deco revival. He
branched out into the realm of limited edition prints, bronzes,
and wearable art.
work may be found in the collections of several well-known
museums, including the Victoria and Albert Museum and the
Metropolitan Museum of Art and a sizable collection of work by
Erté can be found at Museum 1999 in Tokyo.
article is licensed under the GNU
Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia
article "Romain de Tirtoff".
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