Romain de Tirtoff

Infobox Artist
name = Erté

imagesize = 220px
birthname = Romain de Tirtoff
died at age of = 97
birthdate = Birth date|1892|11|23|df=yes
location = St. Petersburg, Russia
deathdate = Death date and age|1990|4|21|1892|11|23|df=yes
deathplace = Paris, France
nationality = Russian
field = Artist, Designer
training =
movement = Art Deco
works =
patrons =
awards =

Romain de Tirtoff (November 23, 1892 – April 21, 1990) was a Russian-born French artist and designer known by the pseudonym Erté, the French pronunciation of his initials, "R.T."


Tirtoff was born Roman Petrovich Tyrtov (Роман Петрович Тыртов) in St. Petersburg, Russian Empire, to a distinguished family with roots tracing back to 1548. His father, Pyotr Ivanovich Tyrtov, was a Russian Fleet Admiral.

In 1910–12 Romain moved to Paris, France, to pursue a career as a designer. This decision was made over strong objections from his father, who wanted Romain to continue the family tradition and become a naval officer. Romain assumed his pseudonym to avoid disgracing the family. In 1915 he got his first substantial contract with "Harper's Bazaar" magazine, and went on to an illustrious career that included designing costumes and stage sets.

Erté is perhaps most famous for his elegant fashion designs which capture the art deco period in which he worked. His delicate figures and sophisticated, glamorous designs are instantly recognizable, and his ideas and art influence fashion into the 21st century. His costumes and sets were featured in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1923, many productions of the Folies Bergère, and George White's Scandals. In 1925, Louis B. Mayer brought him to Hollywood to design sets and costumes for a film called "Paris". [] There were many script problems so Erte was given other assignments to keep him busy. He designed for such films as "Ben-Hur", "The Mystic" [] , "Time, the Comedian" [] , "Dance Madness" [] and "La bohème" [] .

By far his best known image is "Symphony in Black", [] depicting a tall, slender woman draped in black holding a thin black dog. The influential image has been reproduced and copied countless times.

Erté continued working throughout his life designing revues, ballets and operas. He had a major rejuvenation and much lauded interest in his career during the 1960s with the art deco revival. He branched out into the realm of limited edition prints, bronzes and art to wear. Museums around the world purchased dozens of his paintings for their collections.

A sizeable collection of work by Erté can be found at Museum 1999 in Tokyo.


"A resourceful woman who is almost downright plain can achieve the reputation of a beauty simply by announcing to everybody she meets that she is one."

"Look at me, I'm in another world - a dream world that invites oblivion. People take drugs to achieve such freedom from their daily cares. I've never taken drugs. I've never needed them. I achieve a high through work."


* "Things I remember: An autobiography", Quadrangle/The New york Times Book Co., 1975, ISBN 081290575X.

External links

* [ Erté site in Russian]
* []
* [ Erté fashion drawings]
* [ Erte art site]
* [ Ten Dreams Galleries]
* [ Museum1999 in Tokyo]
* [ View signed prints sculptures and originals at Doubletake Gallery]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Romain de Tirtoff — Erté Erté (pseudonyme de Romain de Tirtoff, d après ses initiales R.T.) (23 novembre 1892 – 21 avril 1990) est artiste français né russe. Il est né Roman Petrov de Tyrtov (Роман Петрович Тыртов) à Saint Pétersbourg, dans une grande famille dont… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Romain de Tirtoff — Erté eigentlich Romain de Tirtoff (* 23. Januar 1892 in Sankt Petersburg; † 21. April 1990 in Paris) war Illustrator, Bühnenbildner und Modedesigner. Mit seinen Illustrationen und Modekreationen ist Erté einer der Hauptvertreter des Art Deco.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Romain de Tirtoff — birth name of the artist Erte (1892 1990, Russian born French painter and costume designer) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Romain de Tirtoff — detto Erté …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Erté, Romain de Tirtoff — (1892 1990)    Born into an aristocratic family in St. Petersburg Russia, Erté s interests were art and theatre. He is recognized as one of the most notable fashion illustrators and costume designers; his work is easily identified by its stylized …   Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry

  • Romain — may refer to:People* Jérôme Romain (born 1971), former track and field athlete * Romain Barnier (born 1976), freestyle swimmer * Romain Barras (born 1980), French decathlete * Romain Bellenger, French road racing cyclist * Romain Bussine (1830… …   Wikipedia

  • Tirtoff — n. family name; Romain de Tirtoff (1892 1990 known as Erte ), Russian born French painter and costume designer …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Tirtoff, Romain de — vero nome di Erté …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Erté — Er·té (ĕr tāʹ), Originally Romain de Tertoff. 1892 1990. Russian born French designer and illustrator who was a leading exponent of Art Deco in the 1920s and 1930s. * * * orig. Romain de Tirtoff born Nov. 23, 1892, St. Petersburg, Russia died… …   Universalium

  • Art-Deco — Das Chrysler Building in New York Art Deco der Maurice Ascalon und Pal Bell, 1939 1950 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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