A striking limited edition bronze figure of a beautiful young woman in a glamorous fitted gown, with a theatrical headdress representing a constellation of stars. The figure raised on an integral plinth. Signed Erté, dated 1987 and numbered 87/375 with Vermillon & Seven Arts foundry mark.
The designs created by Erté during his long and illustrious life influenced not only the world of theatre, film and fashion, but an entire art movement as well. The genius of the artist is evidenced by an enormous body of work that is considered among the most influential and unique of the 20th century.Erté—Romain de Tirtoff—was born in Russia in 1892, and died at age 97 in 1990. His legendary career spanned nearly the entire length of his life. In 1912, Erté moved to Paris and his unique talent was immediately recognized by the city’s most established couturiers. In 1915, he began an association with Harper’s Bazaar by designing covers of each of their magazines for the next 22 years.
The influence of his work as a result of the high visibility of this periodical influenced an entire art movement that was to become known as “Art Deco”. Throughout this period, the artist also created original costume and fashion designs for many of the era’s most renowned screen actresses, including Joan Crawford, Lillian Gish, Marion Davies, Anna Pavlova, Norma Shearer and others. His creations for the stage included extravagant designs for productions at such venues as New York’s Radio City Music Hall, the Casino de Paris and the Paris Opera, as well as for the Folies-Bergères and George White’s Scandals.
At the age of 75, Erté was encouraged to embark on a new career and began to recreate the remarkable designs of his youth in bronze and serigraphy. The Art Deco movement was hence reborn. A lifetime of international success and recognition has ensured this unique artist's place in the annals of art history, and his original designs grace the permanent collections of prestigious museums throughout the world including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Institution and London’s Victoria & Albert Museum.
Height: 56 cm
Foundry: Seven Arts
Book Ref: Erte – The Last Works by Eric Estorick
Page no. 146
Erté Starstruck – 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.”
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