Glamorous cold painted Limited Edition bronze figure of a young lady in a flowing black gown with gilded highlights, holding aloft a mask that may hide her face if required. Signed Erté, stamped with foundry mark and numbered 126/375, dated 1986.
Height: 46 cm
Foundry: Fine Art Acquisitions
Book Ref: Erte Sculpture by Romain de Tirtoff – Erté
Page no. 93
In his sculpture Erté makes the transition from two to three dimensions with an apparent ease and efficacy that set him apart from the 1920's artist, who, by tradition, seldom attempted to bridge the gap between flat and relief art. The strong three-dimensionality of Erté's sculpture is a major element in its success. A weakness fundamental to the medium is that any piece of free standing sculpture tends to have a 'good' and a 'bad' side.
Sculpture is best viewed normally from one angle only, usually from the front, as the sculptor first conceived it. The sides and reverse frequently receive secondary definition and detailing to complete the composition. Erté's training as a fashion designer conditioned him, however, to perceive his sketches in the round, to envisage clearly how they would look when transposed from the drawing board to the human form, viewed simultaneously from different angles across the room. As he noted " Sculpting is a natural impulse, in my creative technique I conceive designs in three dimensions... It is impossible for a fashion designer to produce a model of each design, so he must be content with a drawing. Any designer is thus restricted to two dimensions, and a fashion designer is also confined to the predictable form. Sculpting - working in three dimension - has relieved me of these restrictions and has allowed me to exercise all of my creative impulses, including the use of colour and the modelling of fantastic forms. The greatest thrill of any fashion designer is to see his drawing come to life - to rise from the flat page and be worked into costumes that transform the wearer into an object of beauty and desire. Only when a design is realised can its success be properly judged. I am filled with a sense of excitement whenever I see and touch a bronze from my Sculpture Collection, through which I have been able to see my drawings, thoughts, ideas and dreams come to life as never before'
This beautiful woman with masque is the image of mystery - from the draperies of her dress to the golden mask she is holding. The cold and motionless mask hides the passionate expressions of her face. This sculpture of La Masque was inspired by a costume design Erté had made for a Hollywood film in the early thirties.
To see a selection of bronzes by Erté please click here.