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Les cavaliers blancs by Erté
Les cavaliers blancs by Erté
Les cavaliers blancs by Erté
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Les cavaliers blancs by Erté

  • This costume was designed for La Reine Margot, a production based on Alexandre Dumas' 1845 novel
  • Erté portrays a cavalier from 16th-century France, elegantly decked in gold and white
  • The artist captures the spirit of both the 16th-century French court and the Art Deco movement
  • The artist, Romain de Tirtoff, popularly known as Erté, is known oft called the Father of Art Deco
  • Get complete item description here
$19,850
Item No. 31-7701

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

Les cavaliers blancs


Signed “Erté” (lower right)
Inscribed “No. 18.388” (en verso)
Gouache paper

Erte's stunning costume design for the adaptation of La Reine Margot, based on Alexandre Dumas' 1845 historical novel, is a masterclass in visual storytelling. Entitled Les cavaliers blancs, this costume portrays a cavalier from 16th-century France, an era deeply influenced by religious conflict and political scheming. Elegantly decked in golden shoes. . .
Read more
Erté (Romain de Tirtoff)
1892-1990 | Russian-French

Les cavaliers blancs


Signed “Erté” (lower right)
Inscribed “No. 18.388” (en verso)
Gouache paper

Erte's stunning costume design for the adaptation of La Reine Margot, based on Alexandre Dumas' 1845 historical novel, is a masterclass in visual storytelling. Entitled Les cavaliers blancs, this costume portrays a cavalier from 16th-century France, an era deeply influenced by religious conflict and political scheming. Elegantly decked in golden shoes and white tights, the costume is highlighted by striped short pantaloons and matching gold and white billowing sleeves. The pièce de résistance is the chic gold over white geometric vest that evokes the grandeur of peacock feathers unfurling, seamlessly leading to an Elizabethan ruff collar. To complete this sartorial spectacle, a billowing white feather headpiece adds a whimsical flourish.

Erté's costume for Les cavaliers blancs encapsulates the essence of a period marked by political intrigue, forbidden romances and Machiavellian tactics, as experienced by the main characters of the play, Marguerite, or Margo, de Valois and Henri de Navarre. Margot's transformation from a political pawn to an empowered woman, and Henri's precarious ascent to the throne are tales wrapped in opulence and peril, easily enjoyed by Erté's 20th-century audience. In capturing the spirit and detail of both the 16th-century French court and the Art Deco movement, Erte's design is a marvel of visual delight. 

The captivating alliance between the Erté and the flourishing performing arts scene of Paris transported audiences to new realms throughout the early 20th century. Erté quickly forged relationships with luminaries of the performing arts world — including Zizi Jeanmaire, Roland Petit and Misinguett — and leant his distinctive Art Deco vision to operatic and theater productions. These collaborations rose above mere aesthetic embellishments, penetrating to the core of performances and adding greater depth to the narratives on display. The artist possessed a great range of vision and was equally adept at capturing Rococo decadence in the sets of Cosi Fan Tutte as he was in creating supernatural, moody interiors for Les Mamelles de Tirésias. His Art Deco stylings brought both a fantasy and modernity to the stage that has rarely been matched since. Parrying the spectacle of these fantastical productions, fashion grew more opulent, with luxury canes, pocketwatches and compacts becoming essentials for a modern Parisian.

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. 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 1974

Paper: 14 1/4" high x 10 1/2” wide
Frame: 20 3/4" high x 16 7/8" wide x 3/4" deep

Provenance:
Private collection, Roland Petit et Zizi Jeanmaire, Paris
Private collection, Paris
M.S. Rau, New Orleans

Exhibitions:
Musée Rath, Genève, Zizi Jeanmaire – Roland Petit. Un patrimoine pour la danse, April -August 2007
M.S. Rau, New Orleans, Erté and the Era of Art Deco, October 14, 2023 - January 3, 2024
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Les cavaliers blancs by Erté
Period: 1919-Present
Origin: France
Type: Paintings
Style: Art Deco
Depth: 0.75 in. (1.91 cm)
Width: 16.88 in. (42.86 cm)
Height: 20.75 in. (52.71 cm)
Canvas Width: 10.500 in. (26.67 cm)
Canvas Height: 14.250 in. (36.2 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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