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Décors, Phèdre, Ensemble of Three by Erté
Décors, Phèdre, Ensemble of Three by Erté
Décors, Phèdre, Ensemble of Three by Erté
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Décors, Phèdre, Ensemble of Three by Erté

  • Erté's Art Deco set designs reimagined the 1960 performance of Phèdre
  • The designs blend classical motifs with Erté‘s signature Art Deco flair
  • Erté's vibrant visuals symbolized Paris's modern era, underscored by jazz and theater
  • Known as the "Father of Art Deco," Erté left a lasting impact on art and design
  • Get complete item description here
$12,850
Item No. 31-7964

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Description
Erté (Romain de Tirtoff)
1892-1990 | Russian-French

Décors, Phèdre by Erté

Ensemble of three
Signed “Erté” (lower right)
Gouache on paper

Erté crafted these three magnificent set designs for a 1960 performance of Jean Racine's 1677 masterpiece Phèdre. The play explores themes of forbidden love as Phèdre's affections for her stepson, Hippolytus, lead to heartbreak and tragedy. She confesses her affections, but in light of a misinformed Theseus's return, she falsely accuses. . .
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Erté (Romain de Tirtoff)
1892-1990 | Russian-French

Décors, Phèdre by Erté

Ensemble of three
Signed “Erté” (lower right)
Gouache on paper

Erté crafted these three magnificent set designs for a 1960 performance of Jean Racine's 1677 masterpiece Phèdre. The play explores themes of forbidden love as Phèdre's affections for her stepson, Hippolytus, lead to heartbreak and tragedy. She confesses her affections, but in light of a misinformed Theseus's return, she falsely accuses Hippolytus of seduction resulting in his cursed fate and eventual death. The aftermath sees a devastated Phèdre ending her life in guilt. To echo the tragic intrigue of the famed play, Erté's designs spotlight a grand hall, dominated by a monumental caryatid framed by red pillars. The fusion of classic architecture and Erté's Art Deco style exudes enchantment befitting the drama of the production.

Paris in the Art Deco era stood at the crossroads of tradition and modernity, establishing itself as a global epicenter of art, literature and intellectual thought. Amidst the echoes of World War I, avant-garde movements like Surrealism and Cubism intermingled with jazz melodies wafting through the city’s smoky salons. As cocktails flowed, intellectuals, writers and artists from around the world found themselves drawn to the cosmopolitan allure of Paris. Erté, with his revolutionary costuming and otherworldly sets, was perfectly poised to unleash his creativity. He worked with many of the the city’s premier entertainment venues, and his striking visuals, full of bold patterns and vibrant colors, came to define the modernity of the era.

Russian-French visionary Romain de Tirtoff (1892-1990), popularly known as Erté, began his artistic journey in the culturally rich city of St. Petersburg, where he developed an early fondness for ballet and theatrical performances. He moved to Paris in 1912 to study architecture, and quickly found his creative niche in crafting fantastical costumes for the city’s bustling nightlife. Erté‘s expertise, refined under the guidance of the famed Paul Poiret, captured the attention of Harper’s Bazaar, marking the beginning of a significant partnership that spanned from 1915 to 1936. The artist also designed sets for notable cinematic masterpieces including Ben Hur and La Bohème, and created sets and costumes for cabarets, operas and other performances at the Folies-Bergères, Bal Tabarin, the Théâtre du Bataclan and Le Casino de Paris. Often remembered as the “Father of Art Deco,” Erté was a trailblazer whose colorful creations shaped the groundbreaking Art Deco era more than any other, leaving an indelible mark on the history of art and design. His artworks reside in prestigious museum collections worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Painted 1960

Paper: 3” high x 16” wide
Frame: 11 7/8" high x 11 3/4" wide x 5/8" deep

Exhibitions:
M.S. Rau, New Orleans, Erté and the Era of Art Deco, October 14, 2023 - January 3, 2024

Provenance:
Collection of the artist
Private collection, Serge Leeman, Paris
Private collection, Paris
M.S. Rau, New Orleans
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Décors, Phèdre, Ensemble of Three by Erté
Period: 1919-Present
Origin: France
Type: Paintings
Style: Art Deco
Depth: 0.63 in. (1.59 cm)
Width: 11.13 in. (28.26 cm)
Height: 15.88 in. (40.32 cm)
Canvas Width: 6.500 in. (16.51 cm)
Canvas Height: 4.000 in. (10.16 cm)
Buy with Confidence

At M.S. Rau, we are committed to building a long-term, rewarding relationship with each and every client. That’s why your purchase is backed by our 125% guarantee.

Learn More

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