Born in Russia, and raised in France, Erté was a major influence in the Art Deco movement. His works spanned a variety of genres, including illustration, fashion, jewelry, and set design… instilling his work into nearly aspect of modern life in the 20s and 30s. Erté designed more than 200 covers for Harper’s Bazaar alone between 1915 and 1937!
Some of his best known works are “Symphony in Black” (seen below)
And the works created for his Alphabet Book (Which is truly a spectacular piece of design from A to Z).
Below is an extremely small sampling of some of my other favorites of his. Quite honestly, his body of work is just SO large, it’s impossible to share them all. Instead I really recommend doing a Google Image search on him, or picking up one of the many art books available on him. Thankfully, due to his commercial prolificness, there are several inexpensive books available on him, most of which are very well reproduced.
Whenever I get really frustrated with a piece of artwork, I often go look at one of my Erté books. His work is such a clear reminder to me not to over complicate things! Sometimes a well placed line in just the right place, in just the right color, is all it takes to truly make the viewer’s eye happy. See? Art is easy, right?!