Erté (Romain de Tirtoff) (1892-1990)
‘Manhattan Mary IV’
Serigraph (Artist’s Proof IL/L)
Signed in pencil
70 x 56cm (sheet) 41.5 x 30.5cm (plate)
The Russian born Romain de Tirtoff moved to Paris around 1912 to work as a designer, choosing the pseudonym ‘Erté’ based on the French pronunciation of his initials. He produced fashion plates for the designer Paul Poiret and signed a contract with Harper’s Bazaar that saw him design over 200 covers for the magazine. Costume and stage design followed in the 1920s, for the Folies Bergeres and similar revues in Paris, then in Hollywood for Louis B. Mayer.
Erté’s distinctive and elegant style came to epitomise the Art Deco era; it is characterised by a combination of sharp geometric line – like the harlequin background to this print – strong colour planes and images of fashionable modern women with close-cropped hair and asymmetric hemlines. Art Deco enjoyed a revival in the 1960s, and it was from this point that limited edition prints began to be produced from Erté’s designs.
‘Manhattan Mary’ was a Broadway musical which opened at the Apollo Theatre, New York in September 1927, with set and costume designs by Erté.
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