A fabulous limited edition cold painted Art Deco bronze figure of an elegant winged angel in a praying position with excellent colour and detail, signed Erté, numbered 220/350, dated 1984 and with foundry mark.
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Height: 35 cm
Length: 54 cm
Foundry: Fine Art Acquisitions
Book Ref: Erte Sculpture by Romain de Tirtoff – Erté
Page no. 55
Erté Angel – Sculpture as such has been a rather late arrival in Erté’s life, but his three-dimensional creativity began long before he started to work with Paul Poiret in Paris in 1913. It began at his house in St. Petersburg in 1897, when he was five years of age and created a little theatre using his mothers empty perfume bottles, which he filled with different coloured waters. These were his players, whose costumes he created by adorning them with bits of lace and gauze he found in the sewing room. Some months later, he began his career in fashion by designing a gown for his mother.
Erté: Process of producing a bronze
First, the artist models the sculpture in clay. A plaster mold of the model is made, from which a plaster cast is produced and the details are refined. After the plaster cast has been carefully checked to be sure that it is accurate, and final changes have been made, a flexible rubber mold is made from the plaster. This mold enables every detail to be captured. Molten wax is poured into the rubber mold, producing a faithful wax casting of the sculpture. This casting is then checked for detail and cleaned up, following which the wax cast is dipped into a bath of liquid ceramic to produce another mold. After several days, when the ceramic mold is dry, it is heated to melt the wax, which runs out through openings in the mold, leaving a cavity in its place (Hence the term lost wax). The mold is then fired in a kiln to bake the ceramic to a high degree of hardness. The final casting made by pour molten bronze into the cavity. When the bronze has cooled, the ceramic mould is carefully broken away, revealing the bronze sculpture within. Then the piece is sandblasted and chased to clean it up and removed imperfections. Finally, the sculpture is treated with chemicals and heat to achieve the desired patinas.
” In fashion- creating forms for living people-in the design of furniture, in the design of theatrical settings and costumes, in the design of jewellery, one is functioning in three dimensions, and all this work in the round can be considered sculptural. In this sense, my theatrical settings are large environmental sculptures. I have never made a drawing for a dress or a costume without first having a fully developed idea of it in the round. In fact, before I start a design every detail has to be ripe in my mind, and I execute it without any deviation,because the conception has become a living reality deep in my creative psyche. When I design an evening dress, for example, I assemble a woman in full costume inside my head, swirling in her gown, showing every fold, seam and hem.”
Erté’s take on Angel
Inspired by a costume design for a scene called ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ in George White’s Scandals of 1925, this bronze sculpture represents a beautiful angel praying. In the scene, two angels were playing on two harps, which were in the form of two golden women’s bodied. The music for this scene was George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in blue, which was composed a year earlier for Paul Whiteman. Gershwin did write music for Scandals, but not after 1924.
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