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L'ange et le feu by Erté
L'ange et le feu by Erté
L'ange et le feu by Erté
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L'ange et le feu by Erté

  • This set design trio was created for a production of Pelléas et Mélisande by Maurice Maeterlinck
  • The designs depict the interiors of a gothic castle, illuminated solely by the moon and candles
  • This highly intellectual and fantastic play would have appealed to Erté, both an artist and a poet
  • Known as the "Father of Art Deco," Erté left a lasting impact on art and design
  • Get complete item description here
$9,850
Item No. 31-7669

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

L'ange et le feu (The Angel and the Fire)

Signed “Erté”(lower right)
Inscribed "No. 15302, 15400 and 15832" (en verso)
Gouache on paper

Erté painted this trio of set designs titled L'ange et le feu, or The Angel and the Fire, for a 1958 production of Pelléas et Mélisande is a Symbolist play by Belgian playwright, Maurice Maeterlinck. This set of designs depicts the interiors. . .
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Erté (Romain de Tirtoff)
1892-1990 | Russian-French

L'ange et le feu (The Angel and the Fire)

Signed “Erté”(lower right)
Inscribed "No. 15302, 15400 and 15832" (en verso)
Gouache on paper

Erté painted this trio of set designs titled L'ange et le feu, or The Angel and the Fire, for a 1958 production of Pelléas et Mélisande is a Symbolist play by Belgian playwright, Maurice Maeterlinck. This set of designs depicts the interiors of a Gothic castle, illuminated solely by the moon and candles. The first set features a central shadow of an angel, whose disposition appears more ambiguous than benevolent. The second tableau reveals a bed chamber where a character walks toward an open doorway, guided only by the faint glow of a single candle. The final composition showcases a grand hall, dominated by a red alcove where the intricate patterns of a stained glass window are projected onto the wall, likely lit by the moon. A central figure, engrossed in reading, occupies a throne, seemingly oblivious to the foreboding shadows and subdued lighting that envelop him.

Penned in 1892, the play centers on the tragic love affair between Pelléas and Mélisande, who is married to Pelléas' half-brother, Golaud. Set in a mythical kingdom, the drama explores themes of fate, love and existential despair through enigmatic dialogues and allegorical elements. The narrative culminates in a tragic ending, leaving a lasting impact on discussions of human emotion and destiny. Such a highly intellectual and fantastic play would have certainly appealed to Erté, both an artist and a poet, whose keen interest and imagination is visible throughout these magnificent designs.

The artist, 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 1958

Paper: 4“ high x 8” wide each
Frame: 17 3/8“ high x 11 3/4” wide x 3/4" deep

Provenance:
Private collection, Paris
M.S. Rau, New Orleans
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L'ange et le feu by Erté
Period: 1919-Present
Origin: France
Type: Paintings
Style: Art Deco
Depth: 0.75 in. (1.91 cm)
Width: 11.75 in. (29.85 cm)
Height: 17.38 in. (44.13 cm)
Canvas Width: 6.000 in. (15.24 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.

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